IR Bites menu

Radiology Basics

Ultrasound and CT e-learning for junior doctors and students

Join 10k+ newsletter subscribers

Please note: Your email address will never be shared with any 3rd parties. It will only be used for Radiology Cafe communications. Emails are sent less than once a month on average. Read our Privacy policy for more details.

Stroke thrombectomy

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to stroke thrombectomy, an advanced interventional radiology procedure used to treat ischemic strokes.

An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain, preventing oxygen and nutrients from reaching the affected area. This can cause damage to the brain tissue and lead to a variety of long-term disabilities or even death. Thrombectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that can quickly and effectively remove blood clots from blocked blood vessels, restoring blood flow and reducing the risk of long-term damage.

The procedure is typically performed by an interventional neuroradiologist and involves the use of a thin, flexible tube called a catheter. The catheter is inserted into a blood vessel, usually through the groin, and guided to the site of the clot in the brain. Once in place, a specialised device (much like a hoover) is used to remove the clot from the vessel, allowing blood flow to be restored to the affected area of the brain.

Thrombectomy is most effective when performed within the first few hours after the onset of symptoms, and is often used in combination with other treatments such as intravenous thrombolysis (clot-busting drugs) and/or medical management to achieve the best possible outcome.

Thrombectomy is a safe and effective procedure with a high success rate in treating ischemic stroke. It is associated with lower rates of disability and mortality compared to other treatment options, and offers patients a quicker recovery time with fewer complications. However, it is important to note that not all patients are good candidates for thrombectomy, and the decision to undergo the procedure should be made in consultation with the patient or next of kin.


Stroke thrombectomy is a powerful tool against ischemic strokes, offering a minimally invasive and effective way to quickly remove blood clots from blocked blood vessels in the brain.