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Procedures

    • Carotid endarterectomy
      This surgery is done to help prevent a stroke by improving blood flow to your brain. It involves removing plaque from a carotid artery in your neck.

      Your surgeon makes an incision along the side of your neck, opens the artery and removes the plaque. He or she then closes the incision. You will not be awake (unconscious) during the surgery.
    • Clipping
      This surgery is done to stop the blood flow to a brain aneurysm. A metal clip is placed across the base of the aneurysm. This stops blood flow to the aneurysm and makes it less likely for the aneurysm to bleed. You will be unconscious during surgery. This clip does not need to be removed.
    • Coiling (embolization)
      This procedure is done to prevent bleeding in your brain by closing off an aneurysm. An aneurysm occurs when an artery or vein in your brain becomes weak and bulges.

      A long, narrow tube (catheter) is inserted through an artery in your groin and guided to the aneurysm in your brain. Your doctor then threads small coils through the catheter into the aneurysm. These coils fill the aneurysm and help prevent it from bleeding. You will be unconscious during this procedure. The coils do not need to be removed.
    • Craniotomy
      This is a surgery to remove part of the skull (the bone flap) to reach the brain. The location and size of the craniotomy will depend on your stroke. You will not be awake (unconscious) during surgery.
    • Mechanical thrombectomy (intra-arterial treatment)
      This procedure is done to open a large artery that is blocked in your brain.

      A long, narrow tube (catheter) is inserted through a large artery in your groin and guided to the blood clot. Your health care team will use a device to grab and remove the blood clot. This will open the blood vessel and restore normal blood flow.
    • Radiosurgery
      This procedure is done to treat an AVM. Radiosurgery uses a "pencil-like" beam of high dose radiation to destroy the AVM. Radiosurgery does not harm the normal brain tissue around the AVM. You will be conscious during surgery.

      Radiosurgery will take 20 minutes to two hours. It is not painful.
    • Ventriculostomy
      This procedure uses gravity to drain excess fluid from your brain. A catheter is inserted into your ventricle (a chamber in your brain) and drains into a collection bag. This helps reduce pressure on your brain.
  • Source: Allina Health Patient EducationUnderstanding Stroke, fifth edition, neuro-ahc-90662
    Reviewed by: Allina Health Patient Education experts
    First published: 02/01/2006
    Last reviewed: 05/01/2018