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Treatment Options

The UMMC Stroke Center offers all the advanced treatment options required for designation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.

Neuroendovascular coiling of aneurysms: This procedure is used to treat aneurysms that may cause hemorrhagic strokes. During the procedure, the doctor inserts a catheter into a blood vessel located in the groin or in the wrist. The catheter is advanced through the blood vessels into the brain where the aneurysm is located. The physician will use the catheter to place many tiny metal coils inside the aneurysm. The goal is to fill the aneurysm completely full of coils so it will not rupture and bleed. This procedure does not require open surgery into the brain.

Microsurgical neurovascular clipping of aneurysms: This procedure is an open surgery to treat aneurysms that cause hemorrhagic strokes. A neurosurgeon creates an opening into the skull to access the brain where the aneurysm is located. The surgeon then places a small metal clip on the blood vessel at the place where the aneurysm has formed. This permanently cuts off the blood flow into the aneurysm. The metal clip remains inside the brain after surgery.

Thrombolytic therapy ("clot busters"): Powerful medications, called thrombolytics, are used to treat ischemic strokes by breaking up clots to get blood flowing again in that part of the brain. The medicine may or may not completely break up the clot or clots. The sooner these medications get to work, the more brain tissue may be preserved, and less long-term damage may occur. They can only be given within a short window of time after a person first notices symptoms.

Endovascular thrombectomy ("brain cath"): This procedure is used to treat ischemic strokes caused by blood clots. During this procedure, a physician may use a device called a stentriever, which is a combination of “stent” and “retriever.” The physician advances the stent through blood vessels into the brain, and then right into the clot. The stent is then expanded and, over a period of 5 or so minutes, encapsulates the clot. Once that has happened, the physician retrieves the stent, with the clot inside it, and removes it from the brain.

Stenting of extracranial carotid arteries: There are two carotid arteries, one located on each side of the neck. They carry blood to the brain. When one or both of them become blocked, blood flow to the brain slows or stops. Less blood flow to the brain causes a stroke or stroke symptoms. For some cases, a physician may be able to use a stent to open the blocked artery. In this procedure, the physician advances a catheter to the blockage through the groin or wrist. A protective device may then be placed inside the artery to prevent a stroke from occurring during the procedure. The stent is placed to open the blockage, then the protective device is removed.

Carotid endarterectomy: This procedure is an open surgery to remove substances inside the carotid artery that block blood flow to the brain.