Clot Retrieval for Stroke

Using a series of catheters that are inserted into an artery with X-ray guidance, NYU Langone physicians can reach a blocked blood vessel and use tools called stent retrievers to remove a clot cause by an ischemic stroke.

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During this procedure, a doctor inserts a microcatheter into an artery, often in the leg. X-rays and intravenous contrast dyes are used to help surgeons guide the catheter to the site of the clot in the brain. The stent retriever—a thin mesh tube— is then inserted through the catheter and expands the walls of the affected artery, allowing blood to flow to the brain. The clot then seeps into the mesh of the stent, and can be removed, along with the stent, after a few minutes.

NYU Langone doctors use highly effective medical devices and techniques that result in the restoration of brain blood flow. In fact, blood flow is restored in more than 80 percent of people who have this procedure.

Clot retrieval can be a treatment option for people with strokes who are ineligible for or have failed to respond adequately to medication to dissolve blood clots in the first few hours of their stroke, such as tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA.