About Hemorrhagic Strokes
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and leaks blood. There are two types of hemorrhagic stroke: intracerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
When an intracerebral hemorrhage occurs, a blood vessel bursts and leaks blood into the surrounding brain tissue. A subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs when the blood does not actually enter the brain’s tissue, but rather pools between the brain and skull in a space that is usually filled with fluid called cerebrospinal fluid. Both types of hemorrhagic stroke are extremely dangerous and require immediate attention from a medical professional.
There are also two possible causes for why you might experience or already have experienced a hemorrhagic stroke. Strokes are caused by aneurysms that occur when part of a blood vessel expands and becomes weak until it ruptures. Strokes can also come from arteriovenous malformations, a condition that causes blood vessels in the brain to become tangled. This is rare, and doctors do not currently know what causes it.
Symptoms of a Hemorrhagic Stroke
Hemorrhagic strokes typically produce symptoms very rapidly. Many patients experience symptoms within seconds of a blood vessel’s rupture. Since the brain has two hemispheres, the stroke will usually only affect one side of the brain. This causes symptoms to develop on one side of the body.
The brain is compartmentalized so that specific areas manage specific functions, like speech and body movement. Therefore, the stroke can produce a wide range of symptoms depending on where it occurs. You may have experienced some of the following symptoms:
- Numbness in the arms or legs
- Partial paralysis
- Slurred speech
- Speech loss
- Blurred vision
- Temporary blindness in one eye
- Extreme fatigue
- Coordination problems
- Stiff muscles
- Poor balance
In some cases, the hemorrhagic stroke affects both sides of the body. While this is rare, it is possible that you will
Diagnosing a Hemorrhagic Stroke
The most effective and tested way of diagnosing a hemorrhagic stroke, specifically, is either a Computer Tomography (CT) Scan or a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the head.
- CT Scan: Also called a CAT scan, this exam provides a detailed look at any area of the body. When a doctor suspects a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a CT scan can detect the blood in the subarachnoid space.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This diagnostic test uses radio frequency waves, magnets and computer technology to get detailed pictures of soft tissue and detect bleeding in the brain.
By using these technologies, your doctor or surgeon can accurately determine to what extent your stroke caused damage to your brain.
Treatment Options for Hemorrhagic Strokes
If you have had a hemorrhagic stroke, doctors at the emergency room likely prescribed medications to lower your blood pressure and slow the bleeding. The medications usually have an immediate effect that can prevent long-term damage, assuming that damage has not already occurred. If you take blood thinners, doctors will give you drugs that counter their effects. Blood thinners are particularly dangerous for people having hemorrhagic strokes because they can contribute to excessive bleeding in the brain.
While medications can offer short-term relief from symptoms, surgical treatments are often required to stop the bleeding. Some patients do not need surgery, but this will only apply if the rupture was very small. If this is the case, then you may only need a period of bed rest.
For surgical treatments, your doctor will need to perform brain surgery to remove the ruptured vessel. There are some cases when the stroke’s location makes this impossible, though. Your doctor may need to perform diagnostic tests to determine where your stroke occurred and what the exact cause was. He or she can then make an informed decision about whether surgery is the best option.
After receiving surgical treatment, you may need to undergo a period of rest or physical therapy to recover.
Why Choose Neurosurgeons of New Jersey?
Choosing an experienced surgeon may increase your chances of recovering from your hemorrhagic stroke with minimal long-term effects. Neurosurgeons of New Jersey has extensive experience working with patients who have your condition. In fact, the practice’s focus on specialization has made it one of the most experienced groups in the tri-state area.
Some of the cerebrovascular treatments available from Neurosurgeons of New Jersey include:
- Carotid revascularization
- Pipeline embolization devices
- Onyx embolization
- Glue embolization (NBCA)
Neurosurgeons of New Jersey has several offices throughout the state as well as relationships with a dozen of New Jersey’s most trusted hospitals.