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What Does a Neurosurgeon at a Stroke Treatment Center Do?
When it comes to the treatment of stroke, a stroke treatment center has the professionals and resources to provide the best level of care. Beginning treatment on time can help save the victim’s life and reduce the risk of lasting brain damage. The neurosurgeon is an expert at handling brain and spine conditions and therefore, provides treatment for affected patients at the center.
The roles of the neurosurgeon
The nature of treatment recommended by the neurosurgeon for stroke depends on the type of stroke, which is usually ischemic or hemorrhagic.
TPA for ischemic stroke victims
TPA (tissue plasminogen activator) is a clot-breaking drug that can reduce long-term disability. TPA is the only FDA-approved thrombolytic drug for acute ischemic stroke, but it must be administered to the stroke victim within four and a half hours after the stroke happens. The advantages of TPA include faster recovery, minimal neurological damage and shorter hospital stay.
TPA can be administered through IV (intravenous), usually via an arm vein or injected directly to the clot. The intra-arterial TPA procedure, which is a quicker way to get the drug to the blockage, is handled by a neurosurgeon at a stroke treatment center. The surgeon will insert a thin, flexible catheter into an artery and pass it to the blood clot in the brain. Intra-arterial treatment can be potent even up to eight hours after the first symptoms appear, prolonging the potential treatment window.
When TPA cannot be used or proves ineffective for the stroke patient, the neurosurgeon can provide additional stroke treatments, such as a stent retriever, which is a small corkscrew-shaped device that the doctor can insert into a blood vessel to catch and remove the blood clot responsible for the stroke.
Hemorrhagic stroke treatment
Every stroke patient is handled differently because no two conditions are the same, and each patient gets unique treatment depending on their symptoms. Although TPA is effective for ischemic strokes, hemorrhagic strokes need a different approach. The neurosurgeon can treat patients with hemorrhagic stroke using technically advanced treatment options, including the following.
Endovascular treatment: A small catheter in the brain arteries can fix the aneurysm. Different methods are used based on the shape and size of the aneurysm.
Coiling: The surgeon can place small soft coils directly into the space to stop bleeding.
Stents: This involves placing metal mesh tubes in the artery across the entry to the aneurysm. These can be used together with coils or independently to redirect flow away from the aneurysm.
Aneurysm clipping is a neurosurgical treatment done to place small metal clips around the aneurysm, decreasing the size of the aneurysm and stopping bleeding in the brain. The neurosurgeon can use a stent to treat a large inoperable aneurysm.
At the stroke treatment center, the patient will be assigned a specialized care unit to supervise their progress and improve overall results. Stroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect that you might be having a stroke, it is important to call 911 so you can get treatment immediately.
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