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Conditions Treated

The neuroendovascular specialists at Maine Medical Center are experts at treating the following cerebrovascular conditions:

  • Stroke, often called a “brain attack,” occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is interrupted because a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts open. If blood flow is stopped for longer than a few seconds, the brain cannot get blood and oxygen. Brain cells can die, causing permanent damage. There are two types of stroke, and a third type of warning stroke:
    • Ischemic stroke occurs as a result of an obstruction (usually a blood clot) within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. It accounts for 87 percent of all strokes.
    • Hemorrhagic stroke (also called intracerebral hemorrhage) occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures. Two types of weakened blood vessels usually cause hemorrhagic stroke: aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).
    • Transient ischemic attack (TIA), often called a “mini stroke,” is caused by a temporary clot. These warning strokes should be taken very seriously.
  • Cerebral (brain) aneurysm is when weakness in the wall of an artery or vein in the brain balloons out and fills with blood. Aneurysms are prone to rupture, which can be life-threatening.
  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels in the brain that can bleed or rupture, causing seizures or a stroke.
  • Arteriovenous fistula (AVF) – Normally, blood flows from arteries into capillaries and then into veins. When an arteriovenous fistula is present, blood flows directly from an artery into a vein, bypassing the capillaries. Tissues “downstream” from the bypassed capillaries receive less blood supply, depriving them of oxygen.
  • Cerebral artery stenosis is when an artery inside the skull becomes narrowed or blocked by plaque or disease, which increases the risk of stroke or TIA.
    Carotid artery stenosis is a narrowing or constriction of the inner surface of one or both of the carotid arteries (the vessels in the front of the neck that bring blood from the heart to the brain), usually caused by atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque on the inner wall of these vessels). When these vessels become narrowed, blood flow to the brain is reduced.
  • Vertebral artery stenosis is a narrowing or constriction of the artery in the back of the neck that brings blood from the heart to the brain.
  • Carotid artery dissection is when a tear forms along the inside wall of the carotid artery. As a tear grows, it forms a small pouch in which blood accumulates, which can lead to a stroke. Carotid artery dissection is the leading cause of stroke in young adults.