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Mechanical thrombectomy and thrombolysis for stroke

In acute stroke, a blood clot blocks a vessel in the brain and reduces blood flow to the brain. This often leads to cerebral infarction, which is accompanied by neurological deficits (e.g. hemiplegia, impaired spech, and impaired consciousness).

Treatment options

The Department of Neuroradiology offers several treatment options:


Rapid endovascular therapy is crucial for severe stroke where large cerebral vessels are occluded. In this procedure, a catheter is inserted via the inguinal artery and reaches the brain vessels where the blood clot is mechanically removed.


We administer a drug that either contains enzymes or activates the body’s own enzymes. These break down the blood clot and can remove minor blockages.

Advantages and disadvantages


  • Endovascular therapy has revolutionized the treatment of severe stroke. For occlusion of large cerebral vessels, this procedure is superior to previous forms of therapy, such as dissolving the clot with medication (thrombolysis).
  • The treatment can dramatically improve neurological symptoms (paralysis, speech impairment).
  • The likelihood of severe disability or death after a severe stroke is dramatically reduced.


  • Rarely, complications may occur (e.g. cerebral hemorrhage, strokes to other regions of the brain).
  • Thrombectomy is not suitable for patients who reach the hospital only 24 h after a stroke or even later.

Why choose the USZ?

The USZ is one of the largest stroke centers in Switzerland. An experienced team of specialists in neurology, neuroradiology and anesthesiology is at your disposal around the clock and treats stroke patients quickly and with the appropriate therapy.

Many years of expertise

Our clinic is an internationally renowned institution in the field of diagnostics and minimally invasive, image-guided treatment. We treat diseases of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system, associated organs (eyes, auditory, vestibular, etc.), and surrounding structures of the head, neck and spine.

Latest treatment methods

At the Department of Neuroradiology, we strive to offer the best possible treatment to every patient. We therefore use the latest interventional methods, the most advanced materials and instruments, and cutting-edge imaging techniques.

Partner network

Additionally, we hold weekly interdisciplinary conferences with experts from neurosurgery, neurology and neuroradiology during which we develop an individual therapy concept for each case. To guarantee optimal treatment selection and patient care our experienced neuroradiological interventionists further collaborate with experts from other clinics as well as with outstanding nursing and rehabilitation specialists before, during and after the intervention.

Course of treatment

Thrombectomy is an emergency treatment. Based on CT or MRI imaging we will quickly decide whether a thrombectomy can be performed. An anesthesia team prepares the patient for the procedure in a rapid, standardized process. An experienced interventional neuroradiologist from the emergency team then performs the procedure under anesthesia.


Immediately after the procedure, you will be examined to make sure everything went well. You will then be transferred to a specialized monitoring unit (stroke unit) where you will be cared for and monitored.

Hospital stay 3 – 4 days

For patients

As a patient, you cannot register directly for a consultation. Please get referred by your primary care physician or specialist. If you have any questions, please contact our patient secretariat.

Tel. +41 44 255 56 01

For referring physicians

Register your patient for our neurovascular consultation hour through the online form or through an e-mail to the patient secretariat.

Tel. +41 44 255 56 01