Vanderbilt Neurosciences / Services / Cerebrovascular Disease Program

Cerebrovascular Disease Program

The Cerebrovascular Disease Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center offers comprehensive care for a wide range of conditions, including aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and stroke.

Our experienced care team offers the latest treatments, from minimally invasive procedures to more complex surgeries. At Vanderbilt, we work with you to deliver compassionate, advanced care that is focused on your unique needs.

Cerebrovascular Disease: Why Choose Vanderbilt

  • Recognized expertise. We are one of only six certified Comprehensive Stroke Centers in Tennessee accredited by The Joint Commission. This designation recognizes the advanced care we provide to treat the most complex stroke and cerebrovascular diseases. Our program has also received the highest quality and achievement awards from the American Stroke Association.
  • Top specialists. Our program is the only one in Tennessee with neurologists and cerebrovascular surgeons dedicated entirely to diagnosing and treating cerebrovascular diseases. This means our doctors have received extensive training and experience in this highly specialized area of neurosciences care.
  • High volume of procedures. As one of the busiest cerebrovascular disease programs in the Southeast, our high patient volumes translates into expert care for you.
  • Large neurocritical care unit. We provide private rooms, equipped with advanced technology and safety measures. This means you and your family receive the highest level of quality, neurointensive care.
  • Telemedicine program. We can bring our specialty care to you through a simple video consult with your doctor. This means you have access to a Vanderbilt specialist, close to home.
  • Access to clinical trials. As the only academic medical center in the region, we offer access to clinical trials investigating new, promising technologies and approaches to care.

Cerebrovascular Diseases We Treat

Diagnostic Tests for Cerebrovascular Disease

  • Cerebral angiography: This test, also known as arteriography, makes X-ray images of the blood vessels in your brain. During the test, we put a long, thin, flexible tube (catheter) into a blood vessel and move it to the brain. The test uses a special contrast fluid to make the blood vessels in the brain show up on the X-rays.
  • Petrosal sinus sampling: This test involves taking blood samples from your veins that drain the pituitary glands.

Cerebrovascular Disease: Treatments We Offer

  • Lifestyle changes: Our team can help you make lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, to reduce your risk of stroke and other emergencies.
  • Medications: We may prescribe medications to help control your blood pressure and prevent clotting. To treat ischemic stroke, we utilize emergency clot-busting drugs to restore blood flow to your brain.
  • Minimally invasive procedures: Our team offers the latest minimally invasive techniques, including:
    • Carotid angioplasty and stenting: In this procedure, we guide a catheter from an artery in your groin to your carotid artery. We use a tiny balloon to open the blocked artery in your neck. We place a small coil (a stent) in your carotid artery to keep it open and restore blood flow.
    • Embolization for nosebleeds: For this procedure, we thread a narrow catheter through your blood vessels to carry particles to the site that will block the blood flow.
    • Endovascular embolization: During this procedure, we guide a catheter from an artery in your groin up to the aneurysm (a weakened area in the wall of an artery). We insert coils through the catheter into the aneurysm. This blocks blood flow to the aneurysm and prevents it from bursting.
    • Endovascular procedure: In this procedure, we thread a catheter through an artery in the groin up to the blocked blood vessel in your brain. We remove the blood clot using a stent retriever.
    • Intracranial angioplasty and stenting: In this procedure, we insert a catheter and guide it into the blocked blood vessel in your skull. We open the blockage by inflating a tiny balloon in your blood vessel.
    • Sclerotherapy: We inject medication into the affected veins to cause them to scar and collapse. As a result, this reroutes blood flow through your health veins.
    • Tumor embolization before surgery: This procedure sends particles through a catheter into your blood vessel to block the blood supply to the tumor.
  • Traditional surgery
    • Craniotomy and surgical clipping: This surgical procedure blocks blood flow to an aneurysm in your brain. During surgery, we create an opening in the skull (craniotomy) to allow access to the brain. Then we place a small clip on the balloon-like bulge of the artery wall (aneurysm). The clip prevents blood flow from the artery into the aneurysm. 

Cerebrovascular Disease: Locations

Vanderbilt Neurosurgery
The Village at Vanderbilt
1500 21st Ave. South, Suite 1506
Nashville, TN 37212
Map and Directions

Meet Our Cerebrovascular Disease Care Team