Stroke Treatment Options
Certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center, Morton Plant Hospital offers immediate and innovative treatment for stroke victims, as well as a comprehensive program to assess the causes of a stroke and recommend a personalized treatment plan.
Like other hospitals, our treatment plans often combine medication with surgical procedures. However, we go a step further by providing new minimally invasive procedures that require specially trained and certified physicians and nurses. Many of these procedures use an incision in the groin or leg to access an artery and enter blood vessels in the brain. Depending on the type of stroke, various treatments are used to either remove blood clots from the brain or prevent aneurysms (balloon-like bulges in arteries) from rupturing. The goal is to restore healthy blood flow to the brain and minimize—or reverse—the effects of a stroke.
These minimally invasive procedures include:
Corkscrew Retrieval Device
A tiny clot retrieval device is used to remove clots from blocked arteries in the brain.
Patient Benefit: In some patients, this procedure can almost instantly reverse the damage caused by strokes.
Detachable Coil Embolization
Miniature coil-like devices are placed into aneurysms in the brain to prevent ruptures that can cause stroke. The body responds by forming a blood clot around the device, strengthening the weak spot in the artery or blocking blood flow and preventing ruptures.
Patient Benefit: This procedure allows treatment of brain aneurysms that were previously considered inoperable. In addition, it can be performed under local anesthesia for some patients.
Catheter Embolization: “Glue” Procedure
Glue in a liquid form is injected into arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) to close off the vessels to control or prevent abnormal bleeding. AVMs are considered one of the leading causes of stroke in people under the age of 65. An AVM is an abnormal collection of blood vessels that impedes the normal delivery of blood to surrounding tissues.
Patient Benefit: This procedure can be used to treat AVMs that either cannot be removed surgically or where surgery would involve unacceptable risks to the patient. The glue material also minimizes the risk of serious brain dysfunction. This procedure is also used to treat brain tumors.
Carotid Artery Stenting
A tiny wire-mesh tube or stent is inserted within the carotid arteries to allow blood flow to return to the brain.
Patient Benefit: This procedure offers some patients an effective and less invasive way to treat carotid artery disease.
Intracranial Angioplasty and Stenting
This procedure involves inserting a stent into the diseased blood vessel to improve blood flow to the brain. For patients with certain types of aneurysms, a special stent is used in conjunction with special miniature coils (described above) to treat these aneurysms without surgery.
Patient Benefit: This procedure offers some patients an effective and less invasive way to treat aneurysms.
Arterio-Venous Malformation (AVM) Embolization
Embolization (blocking the blood flow) is a minimally-invasive method of plugging the blood vessels of an AVM (abnormal collection of blood vessels that impedes the normal delivery of blood to surrounding tissues). Under X-ray guidance, a small catheter is guided from an artery in the leg up into the area to be treated. A neurological exam is performed before and after a small amount of medicine is injected. This can help tell if the vessel that feeds the AVM also feeds normal and important portions of the brain. After this, a permanent agent is injected into the AVM and the catheter removed. This is repeated for each vessel that feeds the AVM.
Patient Benefit: This procedure offers some patients an effective and less invasive way to treat AVMs.
Head and Neck Tumor Embolization
Blocking blood flow (embolization) to a tumor prior to surgical removal can improve patient care. If tumors are large or have a large blood supply, they are more difficult to remove and there is a greater risk to the patient. In this instance, a catheter is used to inject a special material into the blood vessels supplying the tumor, which makes it easier to remove.
Patient Benefit: This procedure offers some patients a safer and more effective way to prepare tumors for surgical removal.
For more information about our stroke treatment options, please call the Stroke Clinic at (727) 461-8635.