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Stroke Treatment


From the moment Ballad Health doctors learn of your stroke symptoms, they start preparing advanced care that could save your life. Count on us for the knowledge and tools you need to improve your recovery.

Timely response

During a stroke, timely treatment improves your outcome. That’s why a response team is ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week to begin treating you at these hospitals:

Before you arrive at Bristol Regional, Holston Valley, Indian Path or Sycamore Shoals, stroke specialists can get results of an EEG test that emergency responders give you to show your brain’s electrical activity. The stroke team uses that information to start diagnosing your condition and thinking about treatments, even while you’re still on your way to the hospital.


If you come to Sycamore Shoals or Ballad Health Franklin Woods Community Hospital, a neurologist (brain doctor) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center might help diagnose your condition by using a video call on an iPad.

That means you can stay at your Ballad Health hospital while getting care from an expert as soon as possible.

Ischemic stroke treatment

Most strokes are ischemic – caused by a clot or another blockage in a blood vessel that normally sends oxygen to the brain.

As part of your emergency care, you may receive the clot-busting drug tPA to stop the stroke. Holston Valley and Bristol Regional consistently provide this treatment less than an hour after you arrive – faster than the national average of 90 minutes.

If it’s been more than three hours since your symptoms started, you also may get a thrombectomy. During this treatment, a surgeon slides tiny medical tools into a blood vessel and threads them up to the clot to remove the blockage. Our surgeons are ready to help you as soon as possible.

Hemorrhagic stroke treatment

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in your brain bursts and bleeds into nearby areas of the brain.

Depending on the cause of the stroke, you may get one of these surgical treatments:

  • Aneurysm clipping – Stops blood leaking from a bulging, weakened area of an artery
  • Coil embolization – Slides a tiny coil into your blood vessel and threads it up to an aneurysm to keep it from bursting
  • Arteriovenous malformation repair – Removes or shrinks a tangle of arteries and veins that can burst and cause bleeding in the brain

A doctor also may order medicines to help prevent more bleeding.

Transient ischemic attack treatment

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is sometimes called a “warning stroke,” and about a third of people who experience one later have a stroke.

After a TIA, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments to reduce your stroke risk:

  • Blood thinners – Medicines that make it harder for blood to clot
  • Carotid endarterectomy – Surgery that removes fat buildup in the artery to your brain
  • Angioplasty – Procedure that slides a tiny balloon and wire tube (stent) into a narrowed artery to keep the blood vessel open

Recovery & rehabilitation

After a stroke, the Ballad Health care team can help you regain skills you need to move, communicate and do everyday tasks. Trust us to help you succeed in your recovery and rehabilitation.