Treatment you need right away
"Clot-busting" drugs must be given within hours after a stroke to minimize damage. That's why it's important to call 9-1-1 if you're having symptoms.
Surgical treatments you may need
Several options for surgical treatment of blocked blood vessels are available. These include:
- Carotid artery surgery, also called carotid endarterectomy (en-dar-tuh-REK-tuh-mee) removes buildups of fat inside the artery and restores blood flow to the brain.
- Carotid stenting can remove a blockage in a blood vessel to the brain. A small tube with a balloon attached is threaded into the narrowed or blocked blood vessel. Then the balloon is inflated, opening the narrowed artery. A wire tube, or stent, may be left in place to help keep the artery open.
The way you are cared for following a stroke includes treatments and exercises to restore function or help people relearn skills. Physical, occupational, and speech therapy may be included, as well as psychological counseling. Steps to prevent future problems should include quitting smoking, healthy eating, engaging in physical activity, and managing blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.