Thrombolytic or ‘clot busting’ medication
Thrombolytic or “clot busting” medication is offered to eligible patients who are suffering an acute stroke.
Most strokes are caused by a blood clot which obstructs an artery in the brain. This obstruction blocks healthy blood flow through the artery to that particular area of the brain. These strokes are called ischemic strokes because the brain tissue becomes injured and starts to die because of the reduced blood flow to the area. This causes deterioration. Thrombolytics are used to dissolve these obstructing blood clots quickly. This is the “clot busting” effect of the medication. The faster we can administer this medication, the better the chances are of recovering salvageable brain tissue.
Recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) is a genetically engineered form of t-PA (t-PA is a natural occurring protein involved in the breakdown of blood clots). This drug only works if it is given intravenously within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. It poses risks to patients who are taking blood thinners or who have recently undergone surgery or trauma.
There are some contraindications to this medication and in any case, you would need a stroke specialized neurologist to help make these decisions with your healthcare team in the emergency of a stroke.
Endovascular Intervention or “clot retrieval”
Endovascular intervention or “clot retrieval” is a specialty procedure where one of our specialized interventional physicians may retrieve a blood clot from an artery in the brain through catheter insertion from the groin.
Along with rt-PA, endovascular intervention such as “clot retrieval” has become the standard of care for large vessel occlusive strokes. We offer a variety of endovascular interventional services including clot retrieval where a specialized interventional physician is able to remove a clot from an artery in the brain.
Coiling and/or Clipping of brain aneurysms
Coiling and clipping are procedures to repair cerebral aneurysms.
Not all strokes are caused by clots. Many bleeds such as subarachnoid bleeds are caused by ruptured aneurysms. Once the aneurysm is detected, our specialized physicians are able to act fast and secure the aneurysm by coiling or clipping procedures. Coiling allows the interventionist to fill the aneurysm with a coiling type of material so that it no longer fills by circulation. This inhibits the aneurysm from growing or bursting. The other procedure, clipping, is a procedure where the aneurysm is literally clipped extravascularly at its base. This procedure closes off the opening to the aneurysm so that it does not grow or burst.