Stroke Treatments and Services

The specially trained physicians and staff affiliated with the Stroke Center at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center's Hycy and Howard Hill Neuroscience Institute are at the forefront of neurological care in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys, providing compassionate care with state-of-the-art technology. Our full spectrum of care for Stroke patients includes diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment, rehabilitation, support services and continuing education.

Stroke Treatments

Depending on the type of stroke, it's location, and a patient's personal medical history, treatments for stroke may include:

  • "Clot-buster" medications
  • Medications to reduce brain swelling
  • Medications to help protect the brain
  • Life support measures
  • Surgery

Carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure often performed when the carotid artery in the neck is partially blocked by a fatty buildup called plaque. This procedure can remove the accumulated plaque.

Cerebral angioplasty is another technique in which balloons, stents and coils are used to treat some types of problems with the brain's blood vessels.

tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) is a clot-dissolving drug The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat strokes caused by blood clots. (Blood clots cause about 85 percent of all strokes.) tPA dissolves the clot and restores blood flow to the brain. tPA carries a risk of bleeding in the brain, but its benefits outweigh the risks when an experienced doctor uses it properly.

Not every stroke patient, particularly those having a hemorrhagic stroke, should be treated with tPA. That's why it's extremely important to determine the type of stroke very quickly. tPA is effective only if given promptly. For maximum benefit, the therapy must be started within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. That's why it's so critical that medical professionals and the public recognize stroke as a medical emergency and respond immediately.

Treating heart disease: sometimes treating a stroke means treating the heart. The reason is that various kinds of heart disease can contribute to stroke risk. For example, damaged heart valves may need to be surgically treated or treated with anti-clotting drugs to reduce the chance of clots forming around them. Blood clots can also form in hearts with atrial fibrillation. This is a type of abnormal heart rhythm called an arrhythmia. If clots form in the heart or on the valves, there's a chance they can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.

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