Surgery & Interventions

The OHSU Stroke Center brings experts together from around OHSU, taking a multidisciplinary approach to give you the best medical, surgical or other treatments. Our stroke specialists use advanced diagnostic equipment to get detailed information on your condition. During treatment, your OHSU Stroke Center team also works to identify and treat the cause of your stroke and any risk factors that could cause another stroke.

Medical Therapies for Stroke

Medical treatment for a stroke includes medication to break up clots in the brain and other areas and to prevent another stroke. Your doctor might use advanced medical equipment to break up or remove a clot from inside your body. Medication to treat clots can be given intravenously (IV, into a vein) or directly into an artery.

Surgery For Stroke

Neurosurgical procedures used to treat stroke and blood clots include:

  • Simple and complex intracranial bypass procedures (surgery for blocked arteries inside the skull)
  • Craniotomy (skull surgery) and hemispheric decompression (surgery to relieve pressure on the brain) if a stroke affects a large area of your brain
  • Carotid endarterectomy to remove fatty deposits from inside your neck arteries
  • Surgery to treat a bulging artery wall
  • Surgery to remove an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), an abnormal tangle of veins and arteries
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery (advanced radiation therapy) to treat AVMs that cannot be safely removed with surgery
  • Minimally invasive surgery through the blood vessels, used to treat intracranial aneurysms, AVMs and blocked blood vessels

Your doctor may use intraoperative arteriography (X-ray examination of arteries during surgery) to make sure the procedure is successful.

Interventional Neuroradiology for Stroke

Neurointerventional radiology, also known as interventional neuroradiology, is a medical specialty that uses the latest minimally invasive technology and imaging techniques to treat blood vessels in the brain and central nervous system. Minimally invasive procedures use fewer incisions (cuts) than conventional surgery.

At the OHSU Stroke Center, our state-of-the-art interventional neuroradiology suite includes an advanced blood vessel scanner that creates high-quality, three-dimensional (3D) images. Using these images of your blood vessels and brain helps your healthcare team treat you more easily and safely.

Interventional neuroradiology procedures include:

  • Bringing blood flow back to blocked arteries on an urgent basis (as soon as possible)
  • Opening a blocked blood vessel (angioplasty) in the neck or brain and using a small medical device called a stent to hold the vessel walls open
  • Placing tiny platinum coils inside an aneurysm (bulging blood vessel wall) to plug the weak, bulging section (the OHSU Stroke Center team can use the most advanced, detachable coil)
  • Injection of a substance through a catheter (thin, hollow tube) to treat abnormal blood vessels, including AVMs, and to lower the risk of dangerous bleeding in the brain