Two stroke pros are saving lives at Providence

With the sophisticated imaging techniques available to clinicians throughout Providence hospitals and imaging centers, the detection of unusual anomalies in the vascular system of the brain, head and neck is becoming more frequent. Interpreting what those unique conditions are and how they should be treated is another matter altogether. That is where the experts at Pacific Neuroscience Institute (PNI) enter the picture.

“When we get a referral about an unusual imaging study, we excel in diagnosing the condition and applying the latest minimally invasive neuro-interventional techniques to treat it,” says Jason Tarpley, M.D., Ph.D.

Along with Christopher Putman, M.D., Tarpley helps staff the highest-volume stroke center in Los Angeles County. Both physicians have been responsible for some of the fastest treatment times in the county and are involved in the operations of the stroke programs at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center (PLCMMC) in Torrance and Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. And while they are best known as stroke doctors who are expert clot busters, Drs. Tarpley and Putman have vast experience in the diagnosis and treatment of all complex vascular malformations and abnormalities in the brain, head and neck. Using catheter-based techniques, they can offer stand-alone endovascular treatments and work with surgeons to maximize effectiveness and safety when tradition open surgical approaches are needed.

As director of the stroke/neurovascular division of PNI, Dr. Tarpley is passionate about acute stroke care, carotid stenosis and stenting procedures, aneurysm treatments (coiling flow and diversion) and new embolization procedures for chronic subdural hemorrhage.

Dr. Putman joined PNI a year ago after spending more than 20 years on the East Coast, and is highly skilled in the treatment of all types of vascular disorders of the head, neck and spine.

A patient sent this letter to Steven Seizer, M.D. at Santa Monica Family Physicians:

Dr. Seizer,

You performed my colonoscopy on Tuesday morning. I wanted to thank you for something you did. My blood pressure was really high, as was my heart rate. I was clearly nervous. As the anesthesiologist was administering the anesthesia, you touched my right leg which seemed to anchor me somehow. Last thing I remember was the anesthesiologist saying “We’ll take good care of you.” This probably seems insignificant, but that lingering memory has stayed with me for the past 2 days.

In these lonely, non-touching COVID times especially, you and your team offered a sense of caretaking that was priceless. Feeling nervous, lonely and scared as I was, that gesture of your touch and anchoring was a lasting help. I have had the recurring thought that if I didn’t write you this email, you might never know how much it was appreciated. Thank you sincerely.

This patient rated Sevan Stepanian, M.D. five stars on Google and left the following remarks:

Do you want to know what a FANTASTIC doctor looks like? LIKE HIM. My brother has had kidney stones removed by Dr. Stepanian twice. The man is a SAINT. My brother is mentally handicapped, and the doctor does his best to talk to, and not at, my brother. He is thorough. Responsive. Knowledgeable. And COMPASSIONATE. When you meet this man, you KNOW he is in a profession that he truly loves.

He has two decades of experience treating aneurysms with minimally invasive techniques, ten years of research in brain aneurysm flow patterns and characteristics, and is on the medical advisory board for the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. His background includes serving as director of interventional radiology at Massachusetts General/ Harvard in Boston, Inova Fairfax in Fairfax, Virginia, and as an assistant professor at Yale.

Patients have access to cutting edge treatments through PNI thanks to Drs. Tarpley’s and Putman’s expertise. Dr. Tarpley serves as principal investigator for clinical trials on stroke and will soon be offering patients at PLCMMC access to a trial for chronic subdural hemorrhage. PLCMMC is one of only two medical centers in Los Angeles county (the other is UCLA) involved in this National Institute of Health-funded study. The project is a neurosurgery collaboration in which the neurointerventional team performs middle meningeal artery embolization as adjunct therapy to reduce re-bleeding and improve outcomes. There are also plans to offer patients access to a clinical trial on treatments for carotid stenosis.

“We have a lot to offer patients beyond hospitalbased stroke care,” Dr. Tarpley says. In addition to offering endovascular treatments for brain aneurysms, cerebrovascular disease, and vascular malformations, they offer further evaluation and treatment of epistaxis, pulsatile tinnitus and other complex vascular conditions of the head neck and spine.

To refer a patient to Dr. Tarpley or Dr. Putman’s office locations in Torrance, Santa Monica or virtually, use internal Epic referral to PJNF PNI Neurointerventional or call 424-212-5340.

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