Interventional Neurology

Rely on Essentia's interventional neurologists to treat conditions of the brain, neck, and spine. Our specialists use imaging technology to perform minimally invasive procedures through small incisions. These procedures can be used to treat conditions like strokes, aneurysms and spinal compression fractures. This service is available in Fargo, North Dakota and Duluth, Minnesota.

What's an Interventional Neurologist?

An interventional neurologist is a neurologist with specialized training in the use of minimally invasive, image-guided techniques to treat complex conditions of the brain, neck, and spine.

Conditions Treated

See the full list of conditions we treat, and select a condition to find providers and locations near you.


What is a Stroke?

A stroke or “brain attack” occurs when the flow of blood to the brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells begin to die and abilities controlled by the affected area of the brain are lost. These abilities include speech, movement and memory.

What's My Stroke Risk?

Learn your risk for stroke by reviewing the American Stroke Association’s Stroke Risk Scorecard. Share the results with your primary care provider.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States according to the American Stroke Association. Use the acronym FAST to spot common signs of stroke. It could save your life or the life of a loved one.

  • Face – Smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms – Raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech – Repeat a simple phrase. Is speech slurred or strange?
  • Time – If you observe any of these signs, call 911 right away.

Medical Insight : Recognizing Signs of a Stroke Video Transcript


The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Medical Insight. An infographic of the United States is displayed.

TRACY BRIGGS: As you watch this, three people across the US will suffer a stroke. That's 800,000 strokes a year. But area residents can rest easy knowing that Essentia Health in Fargo is designated as a comprehensive stroke center, the highest level of stroke care available. According to the CDC, stroke has dropped as a leading cause of death. According to Essentia Health interventional neurologist Dr. Venkata Dandamudi, the increasing survival rate is due in part to revolutionary new technology and stroke treatments.

Dr. Venkata Dandamudi, interventional neurologist, speaks to the camera. Nearby are displays of brain stem scans.

VENKATA DANDAMUDI: We are better than ever. We are positioned in a situation where we're able to help our stroke victims more than ever. As devastating as the disease is or the problem is, we have the best tools that we have ever had. TRACY BRIGGS: Strokes can be caused by a lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain from a clot. Those experiencing a stroke will have varying symptoms. If you suspect a stroke, remember to be fast and evaluate. Balance, eyesight, facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty-- time to call 911.

The instructions to spot a stroke, spell the acronym Bee, Fast.

VENKATA DANDAMUDI: The important thing is the sooner we get these folks to the emergency room and get evaluated, the more likelihood of better outcomes for them. TRACY BRIGGS: Dr. Dandamudi says if patients get to the hospital within three to four hours, clot-busting medications can be given. And success rates double when paired with a minimally invasive mechanical thrombectomy, where a tube is threaded into the brain, and a revolutionary new stent grabs and safely removes the clot. VENKATA DANDAMUDI: We're able to very carefully remove these blood clots from the brain and resume blood flow back to the brain in such a way that we're trying to prevent brain cells from getting damaged from deprivation of oxygen.

Tracy Briggs, medical insight host, speaks to the camera.

TRACY BRIGGS: Dr Dandamudi says it's important to know that surviving and even thriving after a stroke is possible. The key is to not ignore symptoms, and get medical attention quickly. With this Essentia Health medical insight, I'm Tracy Briggs.


The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Medical Insight.

Minimally Invasive Procedures

Depending on your condition, an interventional neurologist may recommend one or more of the following procedures.

Angiogram & Venogram

These two types of X-rays are used to diagnose blockages and other blood vessel problems. During the procedure, a tiny tube is placed in the vein or artery. Dye is injected through the tube which enables your doctor to monitor your blood flow.  

Angioplasty & Stenting

Angioplasty and stenting are procedures used to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels leading to your spine or brain. During the procedure, a thin tube is placed in the blood vessel. A guide wire containing a tiny, deflated balloon is then inserted into the tube. Your doctor will thread the guide wire through your blood vessel until he reaches the blockage. The balloon is then inflated to open the blood vessel. A small, metal, mesh tube called a stent is sometimes deployed to hold the blood vessel open permanently.

Catheter Embolization

Catheter embolization is a procedure used to stop or reroute the blood supply to unhealthy tissue in the brain or spine, such as a tumor. During the procedure, a glue-like fluid or coil is placed in the blood vessel.

Ask for a Referral

You’ll need a referral from your primary care provider or a specialist for this service.

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