Stroke is a serious condition that demands an immediate medical attention. Cells and tissues in brain need a consistent supply of oxygenated blood for staying active and healthy. Stroke occurs when cells in brain of an individual begin to die due to severe shortage of oxygen and nutrients enriched blood. There are primarily three major types of stroke namely – hemorrhagic, ischemic and transient ischemic attack (TIA). Patients must stay careful and consult an adept neurosurgeon on observing any abnormal signs. Any type of negligence may result in sudden death of patients.
Major Causes of Stroke
The following points elaborate some of the major brain stroke causes.
- Causes of Ischemic Stroke – Stroke that occurs due to blockage in one or both the arteries that supply blood to brain is called as ‘ischemic’ stroke. The following are two most commonly observed type of ischemic strokes among patients.
- Thrombotic Strokes – This type of ischemic stroke is caused by formation of blood clots in arteries that supply blood to brain. Such trouble-causing blood clots are known as ‘thrombus’.
- Embolic Strokes – They are caused by formation of blood clots called as embolus near heart region. Embolus flows through bloodstream towards main arteries of patients and blocks normal supply of blood to their brain.
- Causes of Hemorrhagic Stroke – Major cause of hemorrhagic stroke is splitting or rupturing of blood vessels in patient’s brain. Certain health conditions like high blood pressure, aneurysms or a severe injury to brain may lead to hemorrhagic strokes.
- Intracerebral Hemorrhage – It is the most commonly observed type of hemorrhagic stroke. This condition is mainly caused due to bursting of artery around brain and nearby areas.
- Subarachnoid Hemorrhage – This condition is caused due to rupturing of artery near subarachnoid space in brain that comprises the region in between skull and brain.
- Causes of Transient Ischemic Stroke (TIA) – This condition is generally known as ‘mini-stroke’. They are caused due to partial blockage of artery that supply blood to brain. Their symptoms last only for a few minutes.
Factors like obesity, binge drinking, smoking, hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol levels can double up the chances of strokes. Therefore, patients struggling with such conditions must take proper medical treatments in order to avoid the possibility of stroke in future.
Signs and Symptoms of Strokes
The given list describes some major signs and symptoms of strokes. Patients should not wait and right away contact doctors for reducing the risk of serious brain damage.
- Speaking Difficulties – Patients may find it difficult to speak or understand. They may experience confusion and their speech may become slurred.
- Paralytic Condition – Patient’s mouth may stoop down all of a sudden and they may feel extreme weakness in their hands and legs especially on one side of their body making it tough for them to stand, walk or raise their hand in upward direction.
- Changes in Vision – Patients may experience sudden eyesight changes like blurred, double or blackened vision due to an underlying condition of stroke.
- Severe Headache – A serious episode of headache followed by dizziness is the most prominent warning sign of stroke.
Diagnosing the Condition of Strokes
An accurate diagnosis is crucial for availing best outcomes following stroke treatments. Respective neurosurgeons may use any of the following tests on an emergency basis for diagnosing the type and extent of stroke and determining an apt treatment.
- Physical Examination – At first, respective surgeons may check blood pressure of patients and check their heart beats using a stethoscope. They may also take a sample of blood for checking patient’s internal condition.
- Imaging Tests – Respective doctors may implement certain imaging techniques like a computed tomography scan, carotid ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging scan for determining the type and severity of stroke. These tests are capable of generating high-quality images of the patient’s carotid artery and blood vessels that lie in brain and nearby areas.
Treatment Options for Strokes
Emergency treatment is necessary if patients are struggling with a serious hemorrhagic stroke or ischemic stroke.
- Ischemic Stroke – Doctors may recommend any of the given procedures for treating ischemic strokes.
- Medications and Drugs – Doctors may give medicines like aspirin or tissue plasminogen activator injection (TPA) to help reduces the symptoms of strokes in patients. These drugs significantly dissolve the problematic blood clots, restore normal flow of blood and provide relief to patients.
- Mechanical Clot Removal – Doctors may insert a sophisticated thin instrument known as a ‘catheter’ for removing the blood clots present in patient’s artery. Catheter has a special camera on its one end which helps doctors to access proper location.
- Carotid Endarterectomy Surgery (CEA) – This procedure involves making an incision in carotid artery of patients. Doctors carefully access the affected artery and start removing the plaque or deposits present inside it for opening up the blockage.
- Angioplasty and Stent Placement – During this procedure, respective doctors carefully insert a catheter into patient’s arm or groin region for reaching the narrowed carotid artery in their neck. A balloon is inflated to expand the narrowed space and a flexible tube-like device known as a stent is left over there intentionally to avoid the chances of re-narrowing of artery.
- Hemorrhagic Stroke – Respective neurosurgeons are likely to suggest any of the given methods for treating hemorrhagic strokes.
- Medications and Drugs – Medications such as Plavix or warfarin may prove beneficial in controlling hemorrhagic stroke complications such as seizures, heavy bleeding and pressure on patient’s brain.
- Surgical Blood Vessel Repair – Doctors may perform a surgery if an aneurysm or any other blood vessel disorder is responsible for occurrence of hemorrhagic stroke. Respective doctors may clamp the problematic aneurysms or use detachable coils in order to halt the flow of blood through them and prevent them from bursting.
- Surgical AVM Removal – If hemorrhage is caused due to underlying small-sized Arteriovenous malformations (AVM), then doctors may perform a simple medical procedure to remove them. Surgery may not be recommended when the AVMs are too large in size.
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) – This painless procedure involves the use of radiation for precisely destroying vascular malformations in patient’s brain that are responsible for hemorrhagic strokes. Major advantage of SRS over traditional radiation therapy is that it does not disturb the remaining healthy cells in patient’s brain.
Risks and Complications Associated with Treatments for Strokes
The following are the major risks and complications associated with different stroke treatments.
- Severe Pain and Infection – Patients may experience pain or get a severe infection at surgical site following any of the above-mentioned surgical procedures for strokes. However, these problems can be easily treated with painkillers and antibiotic medicines.
- Loss of Muscle Movement – Patients may encounter problems like loss of muscle movement especially on one side of their body. They may become weak or paralyzed. In such cases, physical therapy may prove helpful.
- Speaking and Swallowing Problems – Some patients may find it difficult to speak clearly and swallow food normally following their treatment for stroke.
- Depression – Patients may face emotional challenges such as depression. Respective doctors may refer them to well-qualified psychologists to cope up with the changes following their stroke treatment.
Recovery Following Treatment for Strokes
Recovery is mainly dependent on type of stroke treatment involved and overall health condition of patients. Patients may need to visit physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists to heal faster. It will considerably help in minimizing potential post-surgical complications like speech difficulties, swallowing problems and emotional disturbances. Patients must also visit respective doctors for attending follow-up care sessions from time to time. In addition to this, they should avoid activities like smoking and eat only healthy foods. These measures will surely improve their quality of life and speed up their recovery process.
Avail Top-Class Stroke Treatment in India with Travcure
Travcure Medical Tourism is one of the highly acknowledged healthcare facilitators across the globe. Medical consultants at Travcure are associated with a vast pool of well-qualified neurologists and hospital facilities in India. They offer a free online medical consultation to overseas patients who are looking for high-quality as well as cost-effective stroke treatments in India. Stroke treatment cost in India is one-third of the prices which are normally charged in western countries such as United States and United Kingdom. Travcure makes every possible effort to provide highly customized and economical treatment packages to global patients. They also assist them in availing their medical visas at the earliest and guide them throughout their wellness journey. Not just this, they stay in touch with each and every international patient during their recovery period even when they fly back to their native countries. Therefore, international patients can rely on these peerless facilities offered by Travcure Medical Tourism for availing finest stroke treatments in India.
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