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About the Rush Comprehensive Stroke-Neurosurgery Clinic
If you’ve been diagnosed with a cerebrovascular disease or your doctor suspects that you might have one, you need expert care from an experienced team.
Cerebrovascular diseases are conditions that interfere with blood circulation in the brain and spinal cord. When a blood vessel to your brain bursts or is blocked, brain tissue dies because it can’t get the blood and oxygen it needs. This causes a stroke, which can result in serious disabilities or death.
The Rush Stroke-Neurosurgery Clinic team specializes in diagnosing and treating complex cerebrovascular conditions. Our neurosurgeons and vascular neurologists focus on treating you quickly, safely and effectively, and on preventing future strokes. We offer a full range of the latest diagnostic tests and treatments, including minimally invasive procedures to remove blood clots and open blocked blood vessels.
The neurology and neurosurgery program at Rush is ranked No. 3 in the nation and the best in Illinois by U.S. News & World Report.
- An expert team, focused on you: Your treatment team will include neurologists who specialize in treating cerebrovascular disease medically and neurosurgeons who are experts in the latest surgical techniques. Together, they’ll talk you through the risks and benefits of each treatment option, partnering with you to come up with the best plan.
- Tailored treatment: Some cerebrovascular conditions can be treated with medication. Others require traditional, or "open," surgery, and some can be treated with minimally invasive procedures that access blood vessels through a small incision. Because our team has expertise in performing procedures in multiple ways, they can customize their approach to your specific situation.
- Leading-edge technology: Technology for diagnosing and treating cerebrovascular conditions is constantly evolving, and Rush is at the forefront. We were the first medical center in Chicago to use a robotic system to examine blood vessels in the brain and help neurosurgeons precisely position treatment devices.
- National leaders in stroke care: The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has recognized all three Rush hospitals with the Get With the Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award. Rush University Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital have received the Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll Award. Rush is also certified by the Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the most demanding stroke certification designed for those hospitals that have specific abilities to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases.
- Research that advances the field: Rush is an academic medical center, which allows our patients to access the very latest therapies that target a variety of conditions. Our cerebrovascular experts participate in national and global clinical trials to develop and refine new treatments and devices that improve care.
Our Team of Providers
Conditions and Treatments
- Arteriovenous malformations: An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a tangle of blood vessels that have developed abnormally. An AVM can cause blood vessels in the vein to weaken and burst, which can result in a hemorrhagic, or bleeding, stroke. AVMs can also cause headaches, seizures and other problems.
- Carotid artery disease: Carotid artery disease is a stiffening and narrowing of the blood vessels in the neck due to a cholesterol buildup called plaque. It can cause a stroke by limiting or blocking blood flow to your brain.
- Intracranial atherosclerosis: Intracranial atherosclerosis is a buildup of plaque in the arteries of the brain. It limits blood flow to your brain and increases your risk of stroke.
- Moyamoya disease: Moyamoya disease is a rare disorder that causes blockage or narrowing of arteries in the brain. It’s a progressive condition, meaning that it gets worse over time if not treated.
We offer the following techniques and treatments:
- Carotid angioplasty and stenting: Carotid angioplasty and stenting are minimally invasive procedures to clear blockages from your carotid artery and place a small mesh tube, or stent, in the artery to hold it open and prevent further blockage. It’s performed through a thin plastic tube (catheter) that’s threaded into a small incision in your wrist or groin.
- Carotid endarterectomy: Carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove plaque that has built up in the arteries in your neck.
- Medical therapies: Medications that can be used to lower the risk of stroke include antithrombotic agents, which limit the chances of developing blood clots, and statins, which help to reduce levels of cholesterol that can block blood vessels.
- Revascularization of the blood supply: Revascularization is a kind of bypass surgery to route blood flow around blocked blood vessels that supply the brain. It can involve a procedure to connect two blood vessels directly or connect them using a section of blood vessel taken from your arm or leg. It might also involve redirecting a healthy artery from your scalp or face to provide blood to your brain.
- Risk factor modifications: Managing your blood pressure, blood sugar, weight and other factors can cut risk of stroke significantly. Your providers and the team at the Rush Stroke Prevention Clinic can work with you to make lifestyle changes that decrease your risk.
- Stereotactic microsurgery for arteriovenous malformations: Stereotactic surgery uses computer imaging to guide your cerebrovascular surgeon to the exact location of your arteriovenous malformation (AVM). They then use a state-of-the-art operating microscope and tiny surgical instruments to seal off and remove the AVM.
- Thrombectomy: Thrombectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove blood clots. It’s performed through a small incision in your wrist or thigh. Guided by a special X-ray machine, your surgeon threads a thin plastic tube, or catheter, into the incision and up to the clot. They use a tiny instrument to grab or suck out the clot.
As part of a leading academic health system, the Rush Stroke-Neurology Clinic offers you access to advanced diagnostics and therapies through a variety of clinical trials. Learn more about clinical trials at Rush.
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