Diagnosis and Treatment

Through fast and expert intervention, we work to save brain cells that can make the difference in your future quality of life. Patients admitted with stroke symptoms are first evaluated to determine the source of the stroke and the extent of damage to the brain. These factors will help your doctor determine the best next steps for treatment. Our Primary Stroke Centers offer the latest equipment and a team of doctors dedicated to maintaining a patient’s understanding and comfort while in our care.

Stroke Treatment Options

Surgery, medications, hospital care and rehabilitation are all stroke treatment options carefully considered by our specialists. Individual treatment plans may include one or more of the following approaches: 

  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA): For strokes caused by blood clots, tPA dissolves the clot and restores blood flow to the brain. This treatment carries a risk of bleeding in the brain, but its benefits outweigh the risks when an experienced doctor uses it properly. For maximum benefit, the therapy must be started within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms.
  • Endarterectomy: When the carotid artery in the neck is partially blocked by a fatty buildup, we may recommend this surgery to remove the plaque.
  • Cerebral angioplasty: This technique uses balloons, stents and coils to open up blockages in the brain's blood vessels.
  • Medication: Use of aspirin and other antiplatelet medications may reduce the risk of future strokes. 

Stroke Chain of Survival at Sentara