Skip to Main Content
Treatment Neurology & Neurosurgery


The neurovascular team at UCSF Medical Center, along with your primary care doctor, will design a treatment plan tailored to your medical condition, state of health and individual needs. You may need more than one kind of treatment, and you may require several visits to UCSF. You may be referred to additional doctors or other medical professionals.

It is critical to come to the hospital immediately if you experience a stroke because treatments might reduce or completely reverse the brain injury from stroke. These treatments must be given within the first few hours of stroke symptoms, so call 911 to get transportation to the Emergency Room quickly. These treatments include administration of a t-PA — a drug that opens blocked blood vessels — or devices to remove the clot from the brain using a catheter.

The next step in treating a stroke is to carefully control and monitor your blood pressure. Once your blood pressure is under control, we focus on cholesterol, smoking cessation, control of diabetes and analysis of any heart conditions you may have.

Ischemic Stroke

Also, there are surgical techniques that may be used to prevent stroke including:

  • Carotid Endarterectomy This surgery is used to remove plaque from carotid arteries to help prevent strokes. The surgeon makes an incision to open up the artery, then removes the plaque and closes the artery.
  • Angioplasty and Stenting During this procedure, your surgeon places a small wire tube down a narrowed artery. A balloon attached to the tube is then inflated, which works to widen the artery. A small tube called a stent may be left within the widened artery to help keep it from closing up in the future.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

Treatment for hemorrhagic stroke is designed to allow the brain to heal safely and prevent further hemorrhage. This involves using medications to reduce swelling of brain tissue. Occasionally, surgery can help remove clotted blood from around damaged brain tissue. If you have an aneurysm, it can be repaired either by open surgery or by a technique that eliminates the aneurysm from inside the vessel with the help of arteriography. UCSF Medical Center is one of the premier institutions for treating patients with cerebral aneurysms and subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Endovascular Procedures

UCSF Medical Center has been instrumental in the development of experimental treatments to safely remove clots in patients experiencing a stroke. For example, UCSF doctors were involved in the development of a tiny device that's placed in a catheter and threaded through an artery to reach and remove clots.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

Recommended reading

Neurorecovery Resource Guide

Find information and services for patients, families and caregivers dealing with neurological issues such as stroke and traumatic brain injury.

Seeking care at UCSF Health

Expand Map