Each type of stroke requires different treatments, including surgery, medications, hospital care and/or rehabilitation.
Your doctor will determine the right treatment for each patient using a CT scan and possibly an MRI to diagnose the type of stroke suffered. Patients may undergo other tests to find the location of the clot or bleeding and to assess any brain damage. Blood pressure and breathing will be closely monitored, with oxygen given as necessary.
As with a heart attack, permanent damage from a stroke often occurs within the first few hours. The quicker you receive treatment, the less damage will occur.
Specific stroke treatments
Ischemic strokes may be specifically treated with t-PA (tissue plasminogen activator) or other clot-busting drugs, but only when the medicine can be given within three hours of the onset of symptoms. Medication may also be used to treat brain swelling that sometimes occurs after a stroke.
Common surgeries used to treat stroke include carotid endarterectomy, when the carotid artery in the neck is partially blocked by a fatty buildup called plaque, and cerebral angioplasty, which uses balloons, stents and coils to treat some types of problems with the brain's blood vessels.
If you have a family history of stroke, it's important that you consult a doctor who specializes in heart care to determine your best plan of care for a healthy life. Find a neurologist today.