Strokes can come out of nowhere and leave you fatally injured or permanently disabled. If you want to avoid having a stroke, Georges Feghali, MD, of HeartPlace can help. At locations in Dallas and Corsicana, Texas, Dr. Feghali assesses the health of your vascular system and offers advice on stroke prevention as well as treating patients who’ve had a stroke. Call HeartPlace today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
A stroke occurs when there's an interruption in the blood flow to your brain. Starved of oxygen, brain cells quickly start dying, which triggers a stroke. Strokes are potentially life-threatening events, and if you survive, you may have permanent, life-altering disabilities.
Strokes may be ischemic, which means they're due to a blocked artery, or hemorrhagic, where there's bleeding in your brain. Ischemic strokes are far more common. Some people suffer transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), or mini-strokes, if there's a temporary blood flow problem.
Both strokes and TIAs are medical emergencies. If you or someone you're with starts showing signs of a stroke, call 911 immediately.
Treating an ischemic stroke focuses on restoring the flow of blood to your brain with an injection of alteplase or tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) into the artery to break up any blood clots.
In some cases, it might be necessary to perform an endovascular procedure such as removing the clot with a stent retriever or dissolving the clot using intra-arterial thrombolysis.
Hemorrhagic stroke treatment involves preventing a pressure buildup in your brain. Controlling the bleeding and using medications to lower your blood pressure can help.
As well as treating patients who have strokes, Dr. Feghali is an expert in stroke prevention.
Stroke prevention aims to help you avoid suffering a stroke in the first place. Ischemic strokes are typically due to carotid artery disease, which limits blood flow in the large arteries that deliver oxygenated blood to your head.
Carotid artery disease develops when you have atherosclerosis — a condition where cholesterol from your blood clumps together to form plaque. This sticky substance attaches itself to the walls of the arteries and makes them narrower.
A key aspect of stroke prevention is making lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating a low-fat diet, and getting more exercise to reduce the cholesterol levels in your blood. Stopping smoking also helps, as smoking thickens your blood and increases the risk of clots developing.
Dr. Feghali might give you a portable cardiac monitor that tracks blood flow, or you might need an implantable loop recorder. This device sits in your chest, recording data about your heart function for up to three years and relaying it to Dr. Feghali.
If you have carotid artery disease, you may benefit from a minimally invasive catheterization procedure like balloon angioplasty. This nonsurgical intervention opens up your arteries to improve blood flow by squashing the plaque flat.
To find out more about stroke prevention, call HeartPlace today or book an appointment online.