Stroke treatment: Role of interventional radiology and post-stroke care

Brain stroke.
Comprehensive post-stroke treatment is necessary for long-term rehabilitation and the prevention of future strokes. Photo: IANS

Stroke is a critical medical condition that occurs when something blocks blood supply to any part of the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. It requires swift intervention to minimize long-term damage and improve patient outcomes. Since the introduction of mechanical thrombectomy, interventional radiology has been an important component of stroke care in recent years.

Interventional Radiology in Stroke Treatment
In interventional radiology, diseases are diagnosed and treated by means of minimally invasive treatments guided by imaging techniques.

Mechanical thrombectomy is a groundbreaking procedure in interventional radiology for treating acute ischemic stroke caused by a large vessel occlusion. A catheter is inserted into the blood arteries to access the brain blockage site during this surgery. The clot is then physically removed using a stent retriever or aspiration catheter, allowing blood flow to be restored to the injured area.

Benefits of Interventional Radiology in Stroke Treatment
Mechanical thrombectomy allows for rapid removal of the clot, leading to quicker restoration of blood flow to the brain. Treatment for stroke patients must be administered quickly, and interventional radiology procedures make this possible.

Interventional radiology reduces brain damage by minimising the period of blood flow disruption through quick removal of the clot. Better functional results for stroke survivors may arise from this.

Interventional radiology procedures are highly precise and minimally invasive, meaning less trauma to surrounding tissues. This reduces the risk of complications and enhances the overall safety of the procedure.

Post-Stroke Care and Lifestyle Changes
Comprehensive post-stroke treatment is necessary for long-term rehabilitation and the prevention of future strokes, Lifestyle changes are a crucial aspect of this care.

» Adopting a heart-healthy diet that is low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium can manage high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

» Physical activity is essential for maintaining cardiovascular health. Stroke survivors should engage in regular exercise as recommended

» Strict adherence to prescribed medications, for preventing stroke recurrence.

» Controlling hypertension is critical in reducing the risk of recurrent strokes. Regular monitoring and appropriate medications are essential components of post-stroke care.

» Quitting smoking as smoking contributes significantly to vascular damage and increases the risk of stroke.

With the introduction of mechanical thrombectomy, interventional radiology has completely changed the way that acute ischemic stroke is treated. Patients who have strokes benefit from these techniques' accuracy and promptness, which provide clear advantages over more conventional approaches. But,  long-term healing and stroke prevention are greatly dependent on post-stroke care, which emphasises lifestyle modifications. A higher quality of life for stroke survivors may be possible with a comprehensive strategy that includes interventional radiology and all-encompassing post-stroke care.

(Dr Brijesh Ray R S is Consultant - Clinical imaging and Interventional Radiology, Aster Medcity Kochi)

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