What Is the Treatment for a Stroke?


Quick Answer

Tissue plasminogen activator is the only Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment for ischemic stroke as of 2015, and endovascular procedures are one of the most common treatment options for hemorrhagic stroke, according to the American Stroke Association. Surgical procedures may also be necessary to stop bleeding in hemorrhagic stroke patients.

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Patients receive tissue plasminogen activator through an IV in the arm, and the treatment improves blood flow to the brain by dissolving the clot, as confirmed by the American Stroke Association. Health care professionals generally administer the treatment for three hours, but they may administer it for up to 4 1/2 hours in certain patients. Although a large number of ischemic stroke victims do not reach the hospital in time to receive the treatment, tissue plasminogen activator may improve chances of recovery.

Endovascular procedures involve a mechanical agent placed near the aneurysm using a catheter guided through a major leg or arm artery, according to the American Stroke Association. This helps prevent rupture, and the procedure is less invasive than surgery. In some cases, doctors may also recommend this type of procedure for ischemic stroke patients. In cases of a ruptured aneurysm, surgery may be needed to stem the bleeding and may involve a metal clip placed at the base of the aneurysm.

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