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Ischemic Stroke

About Ischemic Stroke

Almost 90 percent of the people who have suffered a stroke have had what is referred to as an ischemic stroke. If you have been diagnosed with this medical emergency, you should know that a blood vessel that feeds the brain becomes blocked. This clog prevents blood flow into that particular section of the brain. Within just a few minutes, the brain cells and the surrounding tissue in that section begin to die. This is called an infarct. Being aware of what happened to your body during the ischemic stroke enables you to better understand the treatment plans suggested by your neurosurgeon.

Symptoms of Ischemic Stroke

When you suffered an ischemic stroke, the symptoms you experienced may have included:

  • A sudden weakness or numbness in a part of your body. You probably felt an odd sensation in your leg, arm or face. You may have experienced numbness in one whole side of your body. Some people have difficulties grasping what is going on with them, and voicing appropriately what symptoms they are experiencing, and that’s why observations made by bystanders can be equally or more important.
  • Difficulty seeing or inability to see anything at all. This visual disturbance may have occurred in only one eye or both at the same time.
  • Sudden trouble walking normally. Other similar symptoms that may have occurred could have been dizziness, or trouble with your coordination.
  • Difficulty with speech. You might have strained to comprehend what someone was saying or struggled to speak. You also may have been confused.
  • A severe headache that occurred suddenly with no explanation.

People who have felt any of these symptoms must go to the emergency room. A cure for ischemic stroke is not available at this time, but there are many medications and surgeries that can greatly decrease the chances of any permanent side effects.

Diagnosing Ischemic Stroke

There are many diagnostic tests available for your neurosurgeon to determine if you have had a stroke. They include:

  • A CT scan or a CTA.
  • An MRI or MRA.
  • A cerebral angiogram.
  • An arteriography.
  • A carotid ultrasonography.
  • An echocardiogram.
  • A transcranial Doppler.

After the doctor  discusses your symptoms with you and completes the examination, he or she will decide which diagnostic tests are needed to make a correct diagnosis and rule out any other medical issues.

Treatment Options for Ischemic Stroke

Upon arrival at the emergency room, doctors use drugs to treat the ischemic stroke patients. These medications help dissolve the blood clot that caused the stroke, reduce any swelling of the brain and help protect it from further damage from the stroke. You may also receive medications to prevent future blood clots. This may seem unnecessary to you, but severe strokes can be debilitating and life-threatening. The preventative medication is crucial to protecting your health in the future.

Some patients can be helped by undergoing a mechanical thrombectomy. It uses stent-retrievers for patients who have experienced a large vessel blockage. Those who receive this treatment within 6 hours of experiencing the ischemic stroke symptoms have a better chance of functioning independently within 90 days of having the stroke.

Surgery is another treatment for stroke or to prevent another one from occurring. Some surgical options that are available are a carotid endarterectomy, carotid stenting or a craniotomy.

Many of the surgeries used to treat strokes or prevent others from occurring are minimally invasive. They require you to spend less time in the hospital and have a shorter recovery time. If you require surgery, your neurosurgeon has the skills and expertise to select the one that will benefit you most.

Why Choose Neurosurgeons of New Jersey?

Neurosurgeons of New Jersey employs some of the country’s finest neurosurgeons. Over the past two decades, we have built a team committed specifically to treating stroke patients and those with other cerebrovascular conditions.

Both the staff members at Neurosurgeons of New Jersey continue to stay knowledgeable with the latest technological advances and how to apply them when caring for stroke patients and those with neurological problems. Our goal is to make their patients feel that they are significant and understood, and that their health and well-being are top priorities.

Our Doctors Who Treat Ischemic Stroke

Dr. Dorothea Altschul


Dr. Ahsan Sattar