Stroke Therapy

If you or a loved one experience symptoms of a stroke, immediately call 911 and get to the nearest stroke center.

Stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts. This can result in the death of brain tissue.

Stroke therapy provides emergency treatments to unblock the clogged arteries or repair burst blood vessels.

Every Catholic Health hospital is a New York State designated Stroke Center, providing the best stroke care available. The center at Mercy Hospital is the region’s only Joint Commission Accredited Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Stroke Therapy for Ischemic Stroke

Ischemic stroke is when an artery that carries blood to the brain is blocked or clogged. When this happens, doctors provide treatments to open the blood vessel as fast as possible. There are two kinds of treatments:

  • Medicine. If the drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is given quickly, it can break up blood clots. tPA is given through a vein in the arm (intravenously.) The sooner tPA is given, the more likely a stroke can be prevented.
  • Cardiac catheterization. To physically unblock as artery, the doctor uses a metal wire device, called a stent retriever. A long flexible tube called a catheter carries the stent retriever to the blocked artery. The catheter is inserted into the upper thigh and threaded up to the brain. Then the stent retriever surrounds the blood clot and pulls it out of the blocked artery.

Stroke Therapy for Hemorrhagic Stroke

Hemorrhagic stroke is a bleeding stroke. A weakened blood vessel ruptures, leaking blood into surrounding tissue. This is harmful because the blood can damage brain tissue.

Anti-blood clotting or blood-thinning medicines cannot be used for a hemorrhagic stroke because they would worsen the bleeding.

Instead, doctors work to repair the broken blood vessels with metal coils or flow-diverters. This treatment can be given with catheter-based techniques or open brain surgery.

Recovery Care for Stroke

You made need additional care and rehabilitation to help you recover after your stroke. At Catholic Health, we provide extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation for stroke, including:

Your doctor will work with you and your family to create the right stroke recovery plans for your specific condition.