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Stroke treatment: Procedures

To open a blocked artery

Angioplasty is a procedure that can open blocked arteries.

  1. A doctor inserts a long, narrow catheter into an artery in your groin.
  2. He or she guides the catheter to your blocked artery.
  3. The doctor inflates the small balloon on the end of the catheter, reopening the artery. He or she may put a stent (small tube) into the artery to keep it from getting blocked again.

This procedure cannot be done on a totally blocked carotid artery.

To open a clogged artery

Medicine is given directly into the clogged artery through a catheter.

To close an aneurysm (embolization)

Embolization is a procedure used to close off an aneurysm.

  1. A neuroradiologist inserts a long, narrow catheter to an artery in your groin and guides it to the aneurysm in your brain.
  2. The doctor threads small coils through the catheter into the aneurysm.
  3. These coils fill the aneurysm and help to prevent it from bleeding again.


Source: Allina Patient Education, Understanding Stroke: Information about Stroke and Recovery, fourth edition, ISBN 1-931876-13-4

First published: 02/01/2006
Last updated: 12/09/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Patient Education experts