A brain stroke is a life-threatening condition and may lead to serious complications. It requires immediate medical interventions. Brain stroke may be an ischemic stroke or hemorrhagic stroke. Both conditions have different treatment options.
Treatment for stroke depends upon the type of stroke experienced by the patient. The patient may experience an ischemic stroke and a hemorrhagic stroke. Recovery from stroke and rehabilitation during recovery also forms an important part of the treatment process. During an ischemic stroke, the blood supply is stopped in a particular part of the brain. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when there is bleeding in the brain, and there is an increase in pressure due to fluid build-up.
Medications: Various medications are administered to the patients in case of ischemic stroke. Administration of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator injection is the standard treatment in this condition. The injection is generally administered within 3 hours of stroke however, in some cases the administration may be as soon as 4.5 hours within the initiation of symptoms. The damages of ischemic strokes may significantly reduce if the injection is administered within an appropriate time.
Anticoagulants drugs and antiplatelets should be taken within 24 to 48 hours after experiencing stroke symptoms.
Endovascular procedures: In case when the tPA injection is not administered in time, the doctor may directly inject into the brain. However, the period of such a procedure is also limited once the symptoms of a stroke are started. The medicine is directly injected through the artery in the groin and threading it to the brain.
Stent: If during the examination, the doctor recognizes that the wall of your artery has weakened, and you have an increased risk of developing further complications, he may advise supporting the artery walls with the stent. This procedure will inflate the artery which gets narrowed thus allows proper flow of blood.
Surgery: Surgery of the brain is a complex procedure and is done only when the non-surgical interventions failed to remove the clots from the brain. The surgery can be done through two methods. The clot can be removed through a catheter. However, if the catheter procedure is ineffective, the artery should be opened to remove the clot.
Thrombectomy: Thrombectomy is the removal of blood clots from the blood vessel of the brain. It is done as a treatment for ischemic stroke. This procedure is done with the help of a catheter. The catheter is inserted into the blood vessels of the brain. The clot is then pulled with the help of a specialized device. However, this method is significantly effective if used within 6 to 24 hours after the initiation of stroke symptoms.
The treatment options for hemorrhagic stroke is different from that used in the management of ischemic stroke. For instance, the tPA injection is not used in the management of hemorrhagic stroke as it further increases the risk of bleeding. Following are some of the treatment options for hemorrhagic stroke:
Medications: Various medications are administered as an emergency measure. You may have drugs that lower your intracranial pressure, the drugs that reduce spasms and reduces your risk of developing seizures, drugs to reduce vasoconstriction, and medicines to reduce blood pressure. If you are on blood-thinning agents, then medications are prescribed to reverse their effects.
Clamping: Surgical clamping is done to reduce the risk of further bleeding. If during imaging, the doctor diagnoses an aneurysm, that had stopped bleeding or is at the risk of bleeding, the doctor places a clamp at the lower end or base of the aneurysm. This stops the blood supply and reduces the risk of bleeding.
Coiling: This is another method to reduce the risk of bleeding from the weakened vessel. This procedure is also termed as endovascular embolization. During this procedure, your doctor will fit a coil in the aneurysm. It will prevent the blood from flowing, and there will be a clot formation.
Surgery: The surgery may be done for various purposes. The doctor performs the surgery to reduce the intracranial pressure by draining excess fluid. The surgery can also be performed to repair the damaged blood vessels. It helps in preventing further bleeding.
Stereotactic radiosurgery:Stereotactic radiosurgery is the advanced minimally invasive treatment for stroke. It helps in repairing the malformations of blood vessels. It involves the use of targeted high beam radiations.
Surgical removal of arteriovenous malformations: The malformations of the blood vessels can also be removed through surgery provided they are in the area which is accessible to the surgeons.