Treatment for stroke depends on the type—ischemic or hemorrhagic. Ischemic strokes caused by a clot require emergency intervention, usually beginning with emergency medication to dissolve the blood clot. However, if medication does not work properly or the window to administer has passed, surgery is needed. Typically, neurosurgeons will perform endovascular surgery to remove the blood clot from the brain and restore blood flow by threading a catheter up through an artery beginning in the leg.
Hemorrhagic strokes also require quick treatment. To treat hemorrhagic strokes, neurosurgeons focus on stopping excess bleeding in the brain, usually caused by aneurysm or AVM. Surgical treatments include:
- Endovascular coiling is a procedure that uses a catheter to reach the brain and stop excess blood flow. Neurosurgeons insert a coil or other instrument to prevent the clot from rupturing.
- Surgical clipping allows a neurosurgeon to “clip off” the aneurysm, which stops blood flow to the aneurysm.
- If a stroke is caused by an arteriovenous malformation, a neurosurgeon will perform surgery to remove the AVM and prevent further brain bleeding.
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