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Having hemiplegia and aphasia. Surgery done and have left catheter in body. What are the future risk?

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Neurologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1997
Answered : 96 Questions
Hello Doctor,

Recently we had an unfortunate incident where my friend was getting treated for AVM and Marathon Catheter got stuck which caused the Hematoma and she is now suffering from right hemopligia and aphasis. Hematoma and AVM then was surgical removed.

What I have heard from doctors is that they have left the catheter in body.

"She underwent Endovascular Onyx embolization of (L) motor cortex AVM with about 90% obliteration of the nidus.During the procedure , after the partial obliteration of the segment filling via the MCA, the MArathon Catherer got stuck and got detached during attempted pulling. The branch with the catheter showed severe vasospasm. The lower end of the catheter was in (L) CCA"

Doctor, what are the future risk of having this catheter in body.

What are other risks with her pregnancy, any other issues after marriafe and any other risk, once she recovered?

What are the chances of bleed again, it is almost 2 months since she was operated.

Please Doctor, really appreciate if you can answer to these never ending queries
Posted Fri, 8 Feb 2013 in Brain Tumor
Answered by Dr. Visvanathan K 8 hours later

The unfortunate complication of the endovascular surgery that you report is a known complication of the procedure. The future risk of leaving the catheter is usually minimal. However, there is a risk of stroke because blood clot can form around the catheter and narrow the blood vessel. Therefore, she would be usually prescribed anti-platelet medication to prevent occlusion of the vessel and future stroke because of it.

Once she recovers, there is usually no risk from the AVM for marriage etc, especially if it has been successfully removed by surgery. The completeness of removal is usually checked by either formal angiogram (DSA) or CT angiogram during follow-up. If she is on anti-convulsant medications to prevent fits, this can have implications on the development of the fetus when she is pregnant. Therefore, before planned conception it is advisable to consult your doctor for advise and he would usually look to see if any change in medicines need to be made and would give you folic acid to prevent neural tube defects in the baby.

Again, the chances of bleeding are as close to zero, if the AVM has been completely removed.

The AVM's location was in the motor cortex, therefore in the process of removal would have caused some amount of paralysis on the opposite side. In view of her young age, we can be hopeful of good recovery, but it will require time, good physiotherapy and motivation from the patient.

I hope this answers your question. If you need any more clarifications, please do get back to me.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having hemiplegia and aphasia. Surgery done and have left catheter in body. What are the future risk? 14 hours later
Thanks Doctor for clarification...

So what I understood is that there is a always a risk of stroke near the catheter.. Does this mean that she will be on anti-platelet medicines for her entire life? If yes, does it have any complication in long run..

Currently she is on following medicines...

1. Tab levipil 500mg 1-0-1
2. Tab Strocit 500mg 1-0-1
3. Tab acetrom 2 mg 1-0-0
4. Glutamin XXXXXXX 1-1-1
5. Tab Paracetamol 500mg SOS

What i understand is that levipil is for fits and acetrom is to control blod clot.

Doctor, how long these medical approximately will be continued. Does she has to take these medicines for life long.

Currently she has problem with her periods, I consulted a gynac and she said it is because of levipil which changes the harmone. She will have irregular periods until she continues with this medicine .

Doctor, please let me know how long these medicines will be continued (May be approx)

Thanks a lot doctor...

Answered by Dr. Visvanathan K 8 hours later

Incidence of such retained catheters during AVM embolisation have been reported to be about 3-4%. How they will behave in the long term is not known. Therefore it is not possible to give an evidence based answer to how long she needs to be on blood thinning drugs. She is on Acitrom which performs the same function. The Levipil is an anticonvulsant medication which prevents fits. I am not aware of the medication causing irregular menstrual periods. More information on Levipil can be found here:
As far as the published medical literature goes, there is also the option of surgical removal of such retained catheters which if successful may mean the blood thinners can be stopped following that. The Levipil will be continued as long as there is a risk of seizure. If she has not had a seizure at all, then it would be probably stopped about a year or so following confirmation of successful obliteration of the AVM. But individual doctor's practices vary.

I hope this has cleared your doubts. If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer. Wish you good health
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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