Stroke Specialist

South Bay Cardiovascular Center

Cardiovascular Specialist & Nuclear Cardiology located in Morgan Hill, CA

A stroke can cause severe disability and death without prompt, expert treatment. If you suffer a stroke, double board-certified cardiovascular specialist Anu Chirala, MD, FACC, at South Bay Cardiovascular Center in Morgan Hill, California, provides the treatment you need to recover and continue to enjoy life. Dr. Chirala has considerable experience in treating patients who've had strokes, so call South Bay Cardiovascular Center to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.

Stroke Q & A

What is a stroke?

A stroke is a serious, acute condition that can cause brain damage and is potentially life-threatening. Strokes happen when something interrupts your brain's blood supply, starving the brain cells of essential oxygen and nutrients. The cells then quickly start to die.

There are two types of stroke. An ischemic stroke caused by a blocked artery (typically due to carotid artery disease) is the most common type, while a hemorrhagic stroke, where you have bleeding in your brain, is less common.

A less life-threatening form of stroke is a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which occurs if there's a temporary interruption to blood flow in your brain. A TIA doesn't cause the permanent damage of a full-blown stroke.

Both strokes and TIAs need to be treated as medical emergencies, so if you or anyone you're with has stroke symptoms, call 911 straight away.

What symptoms does a stroke cause?

A stroke can cause sudden numbness and paralysis in your face, arm, or leg, and make one side of your face droop. Other symptoms could include:

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Comprehension problems
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurred vision
  • Sudden and severe headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Problems walking
  • Loss of balance

It's vitally important that you receive expert treatment as soon as possible when you have a stroke because the more quickly treatment begins, the better your prognosis.

How is a stroke treated?

To treat ischemic stroke, Dr. Chirala focuses on restoring blood flow to your brain. This involves having an intravenous injection of alteplase or tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to break up the blood clot.

It might be necessary for Dr. Chirala to perform an emergency endovascular procedure in some cases. Options include removal of a clot using a stent retriever or intra-arterial thrombolysis to dissolve the clot.

To treat hemorrhagic stroke, Dr. Chirala focuses on controlling the bleeding and preventing the buildup of pressure in your brain. Blood pressure-lowering medications can help relieve intracranial pressure and offset the effect of blood-thinning treatments.

What treatment do I need after a stroke?

The rehabilitation you need after a stroke varies depending on the severity of your condition, but you're likely to require at least some physical therapy. Making healthy lifestyle changes can also improve your blood flow and help prevent further strokes.

Dr. Chirala provides patients with portable cardiac monitoring devices for tracking heart and blood flow, or you might have an implantable loop recorder in your chest. A loop implant can record what's going on in your heart for up to three years.

If your stroke was due to carotid artery disease, you may require a minimally invasive cardiac catheterization procedure like balloon angioplasty to open up your arteries.

To find out more, call South Bay Cardiovascular Center today or book an appointment online.