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Stroke - Treatments

While in hospital, your condition will be closely monitored. About 20% of patients will worsen within the first week. Very high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol will need to be lowered by dietary control and medications. Those who are unable to swallow safely may need to be fed by a tube through the nose.

Rehabilitation aims to get the patient to be independent in his daily activities. It starts as soon as possible through physical, occupational and speech therapy.

In “ischaemic stroke”, the use of “blood thinners” such as “antiplatelet” and “anticoagulant” medication significantly reduces the risk of a second stroke. If there is a severe narrowing of a neck artery leading to a minor stroke or TIA, surgery to remove that narrowing (Carotid endarterectomy) reduces the risk of another stroke.

If the “haemorrhagic stroke” is due to rupture of a “bubble” on a blood vessel (An aneurysm), the aneurysm can be clipped surgically, or sometimes blocked up by specially-inserted coils. Rupture of an “arteriovenous malformation (AVM)” can also cause a haemorrhagic stroke. Surgery, specially-inserted glue may be needed to treat it. Accumulation of brain fluid may need to be relieved by a surgically-inserted “drain”.

Chances of recovery

Recovery after stroke is a natural process. Up to a third of stroke patients recover fully, a third recover partially, and a third do not recover at all. About 10% to 20% may not survive the early period after the stroke. Recovery takes time. Most recovery occurs in the first 3 to 6 months, but it may continue slowly for many years.

There is a 5% to 15% chance a year of the stroke recurring. To reduce the chance of another stroke, all medications should be taken regularly and smoking must be stopped.

Stroke - Preparing for surgery

Stroke - Post-surgery care

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