Medical City Denton
August 17, 2021

Denton, TX – Singing soprano and studying music at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) are Tibrisha Crawford’s passion. The TWU vocal performance graduate student depends on her lungs for her career. That’s why she quickly went to the emergency room at Medical City Denton when she experienced difficulty breathing and pressure on her chest several weeks after breaking her leg in a fall. A chest X-ray showed pulmonary embolism, or blood clots, in both lungs.

Crawford is singing again after benefiting from an innovative vascular surgical technique now available at Medical City Denton. The technology uses a new high-powered catheter to vacuum blood clots from the lungs, often enabling a quicker recovery.

“Blood thinners alone would not have restored Tibrisha to full lung capacity in the long-term,” says Anthony Rios, MD, vascular surgeon at Medical City Denton and Crawford’s surgeon. “This new medical advancement enabled us to completely remove the clots so she could return to singing just as beautifully as she did prior to developing this life-threatening lung condition.”

Pulmonary embolism is not unusual following a major surgery, injuries such as a broken bone, or in those who have been immobile or inactive for a long period of time. Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain that may worsen when inhaling
  • Cough
  • Leg pain, swelling
  • Back pain
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Bluish lips or nails

“I study music so the function of my lungs is very important for singing, for my career and for my studies,” Crawford says. “I don’t think that I would be where I am right now being able to sing and being able to perform just like I used to without Dr. Rios.”

Medical City Denton was rated in the Top 50 in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021 for vascular surgery according to Healthgrades.

To hear Tibrisha Crawford’s experience at Medical City Denton and hear her sing the praises of her treatment, watch this video:

Learn more about Medical City Denton’s vascular surgery.