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Your Healthy Family: UCHealth Memorial's Brain Plumbers

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These highly specialized doctors are a far cry from Mario and Luigi These highly specialized doctors are a far cry from Mario and Luigi

In this Your Healthy Family we’re talking about the new treatment guidelines that were issued by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association that are changing the landscape of stroke treatment.

Under the new guidelines more people who've had an ischemic stroke - a blockage in an artery in the brain - could be eligible for life-saving clot removal procedures.  Those procedures require an Endovascular Neuroradiologist like Dr. Daniel Huddle, or an Endovascular Neurosurgeon, like Dr. Shaye Moskowitz.  Both are on the neuro team at UCHealth Memorial and they form a kind of dynamic duo.

I had a chance to sit down with both of them to find out more about how this tandem works together.

It’s kind of like “Batman and Robin, or Frick and Frack, whatever you want to call it, it works” says Dr. Huddle.  Dr. Moskowitz adds, “Some days we both wear tights.”  

When most people come across a complicated problem in life, a common phrase is 'it's not brain surgery'.  These brain surgeons look at their complex jobs in a similar way.  

Dr. Moskowitz chimes, “For us it's not rocket science,  I plumb people's heads that's what I do.”  Dr. Huddle adds, “I'm just a plumber right?  We're the brain plumbers.  If your pipes are leaking we stop the leak, if they are clogged we unclog them.”  

Having these two doctors on staff is like having one brain plumber who specializes with a roto rooter, or catheters, and another who specializes at cutting into walls or floors to make repairs when surgery is needed.

Dr. Moskowitz explains, “I've got the surgical edge as it were but by the same token Dan has an interpretation or a sense for how you interpret the imaging.  I can't read images in the same way, so he has an appreciation for imaging in a way that I have an appreciation for physical anatomy.  We each come technically with this venn diagram, with a lot of overlap but we each have a unique approach at the same thing."

In our next Your Healthy Family story, I'll be talking more about the advantages these two specialists say they have by working with each other, and how those advantages work toward the best outcomes for the patients they treat.  

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