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Emergency Response to Stroke

Ischemic Stroke: Primary Treatment

When ischemic strokes occur, UC San Diego stroke physicians respond rapidly and accurately with medicines and endovascular procedures.

Featured Video: Surgery Saves Julie's Life Following a Stroke

Julie Voigt went to a chiropractor who unknowingly damaged her carotid artery. First doctors failed to realize the severity of the problem. Then Voigt had a stroke. She was rushed to UC San Diego Medical Center where Dr. Alexander Khalessi performed surgery to remove a blockage in the brain and in the carotid artery in the neck.


Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA)

Administering tPA Fast

Read about UC San Diego Health's record in getting tPA to ischemic stroke patients.

Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is the most common emergency stroke treatment medication. tPA works by dissolving arterial blood clots that block nourishment from getting to the brain. This life-saving medication is delivered intravenously to ischemic stroke patients within 4.5 hours of a stroke.

Mechanical Thrombectomy

If there is a medical reason to avoid the use of tPA, UC San Diego neurovascular surgeons perform mechanical thrombectomy. We have access to the most leading-edge retrieval devices to remove blood clots. Our neurosurgeons train physicians throughout the country on the use of this specialized equipment. These devices include stentrievers (including Solitaire) and the Penumbra system. Endovascular thrombectomy can be performed up to 8 hours after a stroke.

Acute stroke, left middle cerebral artery thrombus occlusion. 


Acute stroke, after mechanical thrombectomy with Solitaire stentriver. 


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Appointments & Referrals

Stroke Center Locations


La Jolla

Rancho Bernardo

Our Team

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