Dr. Karthikeyan Arcot is a true bastion of integrity and compassion in the field of Interventional Neurology, having dedicated the last decade of his life to helping those afflicted with devastating conditions such as stroke and ruptured brain aneurysms. He is currently a member of Interventional Neuro Associates where he is constantly reminded of how the very fabric of a family is at stake when a loved one is ill. A family man himself, his urge to help others in need is pure and entirely altruistic. Whether dealing with uncomplicated patient followups or emergencies, he is proud of his ability to change the face of a stroke victim and the course of a family. He and his colleagues at Interventional Neuro Associates work everyday to change the paradigm of stroke treatment by adopting an approach that is relevant to Brooklyn, which allows them to provide the world class care their Brooklyn-based stroke patients need and deserve.
How/why did you become involved in your line of work? Interventional Neurology is an exceptionally gratifying field of medicine to be in at this time. The ability to make make a big impact in a persons life in devastating conditions like stroke and ruptured brain aneurysms attracted me to this line of work.
Tell us a little bit about your present work, the Cliffs Notes version of your day to day and what is at stake.
The very fabric of a family is at stake when a loved one is ill. No two days are alike in this line of work. A day may be serene with a few uncomplicated outpatient follow ups and actually having a civilized sit down lunch, or i may have a day which is punctuated by emergencies. A patient may arrive with a big stroke at 7 am and is operated on until 10 am or so, followed by some elective outpatient procedures like treating an aneurysm or placing a stent in a blood vessel to relieve severe narrowing and just when you are done and start driving home in anticipation of spending some time with family, another patient may show up with a ruptured brain aneurysm. I would head back into the hospital and with the help of an enthusiastic and wonderful team, repair the aneurysm saving the patients life and then head home to find my son asleep and my wife waiting to have dinner with me. Fall asleep after dinner, only to be woken up at 1 am by a colleague from another hospital with a patient needing treatment for a large stroke. At this time jump out of bed, arrange for the patient to be transferred, mobilize the entire interventional team, drive into the hospital and treat the patient. Drive back on a deserted BQE, contemplate on the happenings of the day, get home and hit the sack and … repeat!
What do you find most fulling about your work?
The change from an anxious look as they spot me walking into the waiting room to joy and relief in faces of the family when they see that a loved one who was paralyzed and could not speak before the surgery, who is now completely back to normal after the surgery. The ability to be able to change the course of a family from one that would have been wrecked by a stroke to one that continues on quite normally is as fulfilling as it gets.
What is your proudest achievement with this work and what is your greatest challenge?
My proudest achievement is changing the face of stroke treatment in Brooklyn. Our team at Interventional Neuro Associates has changed the paradigm of stroke treatment by adopting an approach that is relevant to Brooklyn and this has helped us provide world class care for the treatment of stroke patients right here in Brooklyn. Brooklyn has its own unique set of challenges. Getting a stroke patient to the right hospital ie: a hospital equipped to treat the patient is the greatest challenge facing stroke patients and doctors at this time. I am trying to solve this challenge by leveraging technology and hopefully this challenge will be a thing of the past.
What do you hope changes or improves (or continues!) in your field in the future?
Currently the care a stroke patient receives is depends on the hospital that they are taken to and patients are typically taken to the hospital nearest to them. This needs to change and patients need to be taken to hospitals best equipped to treat their condition. The devices that we use to treat patients continue to improve and hopefully stroke treatments become faster, easier and safer. I hope we can all collaborate and continue to keep Brooklyn on the map as leader in stroke treatment.
Who would you nominate for this list?
I would like to nominate my entire team which works tirelessly to help provide excellent care for our patients: Dr. Ambooj Tiwari, Dr. David Turkel-Parrella, Dr. Jeremy Liff, Dr. Volodymyr Vulkanov.