Comprehensive Stroke Center
Stroke is always a medical emergency. Getting immediate help is essential for recovery. The Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience - Jefferson Health is home to the Jefferson Comprehensive Stroke Center, one of the nation’s most advanced and acclaimed for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and research of stroke.
We have the largest facility in the Delaware Valley dedicated to treating acute stroke, with the highest number of board-certified neuro-intensivists and the highest number of dual-trained endovascular neurosurgeons in the region. Center Director Rodney Bell, MD, was the nation’s first doctor to perform brain perfusion (a test that shows the amount of blood taken up in certain areas of the brain to determine how it is functioning) for stroke treatment.
We are supported by a superb team of neuro-intensivists, therapists, nurses, neurophysiologists, physiatrists, case managers and other healthcare professionals dedicated to your care.
Learn about stroke, prevention, and Jefferson Health's neuroscience network from our specialists. Understand more about stroke - select a video below:
How We Treat Stroke
The timely diagnosis of a new stroke is critical and is based on the expert assessment of a neurologist or neurosurgeon. That’s why Jefferson offers a telemedicine service (JET) to bring our experienced stroke experts to over 30 Jefferson Health Neuroscience Network hospitals throughout our region. By using this real-time virtual service, a Jefferson neurologist or neurosurgeon is able to remotely assess patients in an average of just 12 minutes.
Medical & Surgical Treatments
Depending on the severity and type of the stroke, you may undergo a surgical procedure.
If you’re having an ischemic stroke (caused by a clot blocking a blood vessel going to the brain), the neurosurgeon may remove the clot via mechanical thrombectomy. This is a procedure that removes the clot causing your stroke. Your surgeon will access your artery at the wrist or the groin, with a less invasive puncture using real-time x-ray guidance, and directs a thin tube to the clot. Your specialist will suction or retrieve the clot and open the vessel restoring blood flow to the brain. Once the clot is obtained, it is physically removed from the body.
Jefferson has long been a pioneer in this type of treatment. In addition to our extensive research, we perform hundreds of these types of procedures each year, giving our dedicated interventional neuroradiology team the experience you need during this critical procedure.
If you’re diagnosed with a hemorrhagic stroke, the neurosurgeon will repair the bleeding vessel. This may be done in an operating room or in one of Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience’s three interventional neuroradiology suites.
Following medical and/or surgical treatment, you’ll be admitted to a neuroscience unit. You may be admitted to the acute stroke unit or the neuroscience intensive care unit. Both units are staffed by physicians and nurses with advanced training in stroke care.
During this hospital stay, our goals are to:
- Diagnose and treat underlying problems of your neurovascular system, including aneurysms, AVMs (arteriovenous malformations or tangles of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain), or carotid artery stenosis (a narrowing in the large neck arteries that carry blood to the head, face and brain).
- Diagnose and manage conditions that increase your risk for stroke, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
- Develop and start a rehabilitation plan, based on your individual needs.
- Help you stop smoking, if you’re a smoker.
Rehabilitation is a key component of stroke care. Depending on the severity and location of your stroke, you may have trouble using your hands, walking, swallowing or speaking. Fortunately, your stroke physician will work closely with physicians from Jefferson’s Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. Physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists will visit, if necessary.
Some patients are able to return home after their hospital stay. Many require additional rehabilitation, which may include admission to Jefferson’s Acute Rehabilitation Unit or Jefferson Health’s Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. Case workers will help with this transition.
Life After Stroke
Once you’re home, Jefferson Health can help meet all of your health needs – some of which may be new:
- Your neurologist or neurosurgeon will provide ongoing care focused on making sure you do not have another stroke.
- Jefferson Rehabilitation specialists will offer continued therapy services to help you regain all of your strength and abilities.
- Jefferson's primary care physicians are available for your life-long care, focused on your overall medical needs. Our doctors are equipped to diagnose and treat conditions that increase your risk for stroke, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Make an Appointment
Call 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669) to make an appointment with a Jefferson Health specialist.