Racing Against Time
Geisinger’s stroke experts work fast. They treat each person’s condition in one of many ways, depending on the situation:
“Clot busters” - Specialists skillfully introduce clot-dissolving drugs into the bloodstream within a set window of time after the beginning of a stroke.
Virtual intervention - A virtual X-ray image guides the neurosurgeon’s work. He threads tiny instruments into the blood vessel that caused the stroke…all without an incision into the skull. Then, the neurosurgeon may:
- Insert a tiny balloon into the vessel to open blood flow again.
- Use a special titanium coil to stop a ruptured vessel from bleeding further.
- Use a stent to repair a brain aneurysm.
This very precise procedure requires great surgical and imaging skill, and is not available at most hospitals.
Surgery/monitoring - Full skull-base surgery may be needed for complex stroke complications. Our neurosurgeons use ultrasound to monitor their movements while they work to relieve bleeding on the brain. That helps them navigate around areas responsible for brain functions like memory and understanding, and preserve the most brain tissue for the most complete recovery.
- Medications to thin the blood
- Drugs to reduce cholesterol and prevent plaque
- Quit-smoking programs for better circulation
- Education on risk factors