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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 Health Patient Education, Understanding Stroke: Information about Stroke and Recovery, fourth edition, ISBN 1-931876-13-4
    Reviewed by: Allina Health Patient Education experts
    First published: 02/01/2006
    Last reviewed: 12/09/2011