Certified Primary Stroke Center

Stroke Treatment Options 

Understanding stroke means understanding options in the care and treatment of the disease. The primary goal in treating ischemic stroke is to restore blood flow to the brain. This can be done by removing the clot, dissolving the clot or by otherwise disrupting the blockage that is occurring in one or more vessels in the brain. Clinical data confirms that restoring blood flow to the brain correlates with improved outcomes and increased chance of survival for ischemic stroke patients. Based on your symptoms, the blockage location, and other diagnostic testing, your doctor will decide the best and safest method for treating a stroke. 

Merci Retrieval System

For some patients, doctors may recommend endovascular intervention. Endovascular surgery is a minimally invasive method of treating disease in the blood vessels of the brain and other areas of the body. These procedures are performed using tiny wires, tubes and other devices that are threaded into your blood vessels through a small puncture in the femoral artery in the upper leg. Once in the arteries, the doctor uses X-ray technology and tiny instruments to treat the condition. 

The Merci Retrieval Procedure is an endovascular procedure using the Merci Retriever® to mechanically remove a clot. If you do not respond to a clot-busting drug or if you are ineligible for the drug (either due to medical conditions or arrival to the hospital after 3 hours from experiencing symptoms), your doctor may suggest this surgical option. The Merci Retriever is a minimally invasive, catheter-based device that was cleared by the FDA in 2004 to restore blood flow in the brain by removing clots in patients experiencing an ischemic stroke. The Merci Retriever is used in the larger vessels of the brain, and has been effectively used at eight hours past the start of symptoms, and sometimes even longer. 

The Merci Retriever is a tiny corkscrew-shaped device that works by wrapping around the clot and trapping it. The clot is then retrieved and removed from the body. Over 10,000 patients world-wide have undergone this procedure and it has been performed at over 500 hospitals, including Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center. 

As with any surgery, the Merci Retrieval Procedure is not without risk. Endovascular procedures are a minimally invasive form of surgery and risks include: infection, vessel perforation or puncture with or without subsequent bleeding or worsening of symptoms, vessel dissection, and even death.


If you’d like more information on strokes or the doctors and services available at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, please call 480-882-4000.