Mechanical Clot Retrieval

During a mechanical clot retrieval procedure, also known as an embolectomy, a physician threads a catheter up from the groin to remove the blood clot in the brain. The clot is then removed by inserting a device into the brain’s blocked artery.

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UC Health’s Comprehensive Stroke Center is a global leader in stroke research and treatment.


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Patient care and research is at the core of what we do. The work of our world-renowned stroke team has earned us the honor of being Greater Cincinnati’s first comprehensive stroke center, certified by The Joint Commission. Our best-in-class experts are the forefront of leading-edge breakthroughs in stroke treatment and care. Our team is dedicated to providing highly specialized care after treatment, as well as coordinated subspecialty care during your recovery.

To schedule an appointment, please call the UC Health Comprehesive Stroke team at 866-941-8264.

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Answers to Your Mechanical Clot Retrieval (Embolectomy) Questions

An embolus is a clot that causes a blocked artery. Typically, an embolus can be treated by medication to help dissolve the clot. If medication doesn’t work or if the clot is larger, an embolectomy can be performed to remove it.

For an embolectomy, a catheter is threaded up from an artery in the groin to the clot in the brain. The clot can then be removed by a mechanical device inserted into the brain’s artery.

There are several different techniques used to remove a clot. A physician could use different shaped catheters that they can put inside the clot to try and pull it out. They could also use a stent to try and break it apart.

Ideal candidates for this procedure are more severe stroke patients with larger blood clots.

When someone is having a stroke, it is OK to talk to them in a calm voice, even if they are unconscious and cannot speak. 

Patients may also be restrained to avoid pulling out medical devices or hurting themselves.

Sometimes a stroke may affect the patient’s mood and behavior in unexpected ways such as crying, laughing or getting angry easily.

There are many programs available to those who are providing care to someone following a stroke, ranging from residential facilities to adult day care services, respite care and in-home respite care.

You can speak with your care team to learn more.

Why UC Health

Experience and Expertise


In 2012, the American Heart Association adopted the FAST (Facial Droop, Arm Numbness, Slurred Speech and Time to Call 911) terminology, which was pioneered by the UC Health clinical team to assist those suffering from a stroke.

Post-Surgical Care

The Stroke Recovery Center at the Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care provides specialized inpatient and outpatient rehabilitative services for patients who have survived a stroke.

Multidisciplinary Care

The UC Comprehensive Stroke Center gives patients access to highly skilled and extensively trained physicians from a variety of specialty areas who work together to prevent and treat strokes.

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