Neurosciences Institute

Stroke treatment

A stroke is a life-threatening emergency

Getting help right away after a stroke is essential for saving your life and shortening your recovery. You also need the best care possible to lower your risks for physical and mental disability. Call 911 at the first sign of a stroke.

The letters in the word FAST can help you remember the warning signs of a stroke and what to do:

  • F – Facial paralysis
  • A – Arm weakness
  • S – Speech difficulties
  • T – “Time to call 911”
If you or a loved one has symptoms of a stroke:

Call 911

At Novant Health, we are dedicated to providing the region’s best services for diagnosing and treating strokes for people of all ages. Our talented team of clinicians will care for you from the moment you arrive in our emergency room through your rehabilitation therapy and beyond, if you still need help.

Novant Health has two advanced comprehensive stroke centers and four advanced primary stroke centers certified by The Joint Commission for innovative procedures, advanced technology and adherence to strict treatment guidelines.

Every minute counts

Stroke treatment is most effective when started immediately. If you experience the warning signs of a stroke, call 911 and ask to be taken to a Novant Health facility right away. When you arrive, our stroke team will work together to evaluate you or your loved one and determine which treatments will be most effective.

Emergency stroke treatments:
Treatment for a stoke varies based on the type of stroke you’ve had, how quickly you arrive to get help and other factors. Your provider may recommend one of these procedures:

  • Medication to dissolve a clot– If you have a blood clot that causes a stroke and you receive emergency treatment within three hours after your symptoms begin, you may be able to receive medication to dissolve the clot. This procedure has a high success rate, with 40 percent of stroke patients having few or no disabilities following treatment.
  • Surgery to remove clot– A surgeon inserts a device to remove a large blood clot from a blocked vessel in the brain. To remove the clot, doctors thread a catheter through an artery in the groin up to the blocked artery in the brain. A device attached to the catheter opens and grabs the clot, allowing doctors to remove it. You must meet certain medical criteria to be eligible for this treatment. The procedure should be done within six hours after stroke symptoms begin.
  • Surgery to prevent a rupture– If bleeding in the brain causes a stroke, your provider may recommend surgery to implant a device such as a coil at the site of an enlarged artery, also known as an aneurysm. The coil prevents the blood vessel from bursting. This procedure is less invasive than many surgical treatments. The surgeon inserts a catheter through your leg or arm and into the brain to prevent a rupture.