Carotid artery surgery is a procedure to bring back proper blood circulation to the brain. Alternative names of Carotid artery surgery are Carotid endarterectomy; CAS surgery; Carotid artery stenosis – surgery; Endarterectomy – carotid artery.
The carotid artery brings needed blood to your brain and face. You have among these arteries on each side of your neck. Blood flow in this artery can end up being partially or totally obstructed by fatty product called plaque. This can reduce the blood supply to your brain and cause a stroke.
There are 2 treatments to treat a carotid artery that has plaque accumulation in it. This article concentrates on a surgery called endarterectomy. The other technique is called angioplasty with stent placement.
A carotid endarterectomy is performed in a sterilized surgical suite or standard operating room. You might go home the exact same day or stay 1– 2 nights after the procedure depending on your medical condition.
Description of Carotid Artery Surgery
During carotid endarterectomy:
- You get general anesthesia. You are asleep and pain complimentary. Some medical facilities use local anesthesia instead. Just the part of your body being worked on is numbed with medication so that you do not feel pain. You are also provided a medicine to help you relax.
- You rest on your back on an operating room with your head relied on one side. The side your blocked carotid artery is on faces up.
- The surgeon makes a cut (incision) on your neck over your carotid artery. A versatile tube (catheter) is put in the artery. Blood flows through the catheter around the blocked area during surgery.
- Your carotid artery is opened. The surgeon eliminates the plaque inside the artery.
After the plaque is eliminated, the artery is closed with stitches. Blood now streams through the artery to your brain.
- Your heart activity will be kept track of carefully during surgery.
The surgery takes about 2 hours. After the procedure, your doctor might do a test to validate that the artery has actually been opened.
Why Carotid Artery Endarterectomy is Performed
This procedure is done if your doctor has found narrowing or a blockage in your carotid artery. Your doctor will have done one or more tests to see how much the carotid artery is obstructed.
Surgery to remove the accumulation in your carotid artery might be done if the artery is narrowed by more than 70%.
If you have had a stroke or temporary brain injury, your doctor will think about whether treating your blocked artery with surgery is safe for you.
Other treatment alternatives your doctor will discuss with you are:
- No treatment, besides tests to check your carotid artery every year.
- Medication and diet to lower your cholesterol.
- Blood-thinning medications to decrease your risk of stroke. Some of these medicines are aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), and warfarin (Coumadin).
Carotid angioplasty and stenting is most likely to be used when carotid endarterectomy would not be safe.
Dangers of anesthesia are:
- Allergies to medicines
- Breathing problems
Dangers of carotid surgery are:
- Embolism or bleeding in the brain
- Brain damage
- Heart attack
- More obstruction of the carotid artery in time
- Swelling near your air passage (tube you breathe through).
Prior to Carotid Artery Surgery Procedure
Your doctor will do a thorough physical examination and order several medical tests.
Inform your health care company what medications you are taking, even medicines, supplements, or herbs you purchased without a prescription.
During the 2 weeks before your surgery:
- A few days before the surgery, you might have to stop taking medicines that make it harder for your blood to clot.
- These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), clopidogrel (Plavix), naprosyn (Aleve, Naproxen), and other drugs like these.
- Ask your doctor which medicines you must still take on the day of your surgery.
- If you smoke, you need to stop. Ask your provider for assistance giving up.
- Tell your doctor about any cold, influenza, fever, herpes breakout, or other disease you might have before your surgery.
Follow instructions on when to stop eating and drinking prior to surgery.
On the day of your surgery:
- Take any medications your doctor recommended with a little sip of water.
- Follow instructions on when to reach the medical facility. Make sure to arrive on time.
After Carotid Artery Surgery Procedure
You may have a drain in your neck that enters into your incision. It will drain fluid that builds up in the area. It will be gotten rid of within a day.
After surgery, your doctor might desire you to remain in the medical facility overnight so that nurses can watch you for any signs of bleeding, stroke, or poor blood circulation to your brain. You might have the ability to go home the exact same day if your operation is done early in the day and you are doing well.
Carotid artery surgery may help reduce your chance of having a stroke. But you will need to make lifestyle changes to help prevent plaque buildup, blood clots, and other issues in your carotid arteries with time. You might need to change your diet and start a workout program, if your doctor tells you exercise is safe for you. It is likewise essential to stop smoking.