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What is a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a little or “mini” stroke. In some cases, this attack precedes a major stroke. In fact, some experts claim that of the people who have had one or more TIAs, more than one-third will later have a stroke.

You might consider a TIA as a stroke warning sign or predictor of a stroke. While you can have similar symptoms to a stroke, these symptoms only last a few minutes, as the blood supply to the brain are briefly interrupted. The symptoms then subside and you feel normal again. But you are not normal! TIAs need medical attention and treatment. Do not ignore a mini-stroke. Call your doctor.

Your doctor will use a carotid Doppler to evaluate your arteries. If you have a carotid blockage larger than 60 percent, your doctor may recommend surgery, which is called carotid endarterectomy. During this surgery, plaque is removed from the carotid artery and a carotid stent may be placed inside.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.