How is surgery used to treat a stroke?

In some cases, surgery may be an option to help treat a stroke. For hemorrhagic strokes, surgery may be used to either control bleeding in the brain or to prevent another hemorrhage from occurring. Especially for people with an aneurysm, doctors may perform surgery to keep it from rupturing or bleeding more. Common surgical procedures for aneurysms include aneurysm clipping or coiling. For ischemic strokes, surgery may be used to remove a blockage from an artery. Possible procedures include a carotid endarterectomy, which aims to remove fat buildup in an artery, and angioplasty, which aims to widen an artery.

Reza Jahan, MD
In most cases, surgery to repair damage from a stroke is done through the blood vessels, without the need for open brain surgery. Your doctor will make a small incision (cut) in your leg and thread a very thin tube, called a catheter, through a vessel all the way to the damaged part of your brain. The doctor will watch the progress of the catheter on a special screen that shows images of your blood vessels. Once the damaged blood vessel in your brain is repaired, the catheter is removed. The incision in your leg will need little more than a bandage to close it. This type of procedure is known as minimally invasive surgery.

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