What is a Carotid endarterectomy?
Carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure we perform to remove plaque buildup inside the carotid artery so that normal blood flow may be restored. We recommend this procedure for patients who have suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke, and whose carotid arteries are at least 70 percent blocked.
the Carotid endarterectomy Procedure
After the patient has received general anesthesia, a carotid endarterectomy will begin with an incision made in the neck to expose the narrowed carotid artery. A shunt is put in place to direct blood flow away from the area being operated on. The surgeon opens the artery and removes the plaque, usually in one piece. We graft a vein from the leg onto the carotid artery in order to widen it. Finally, we remove the shunt and close all incisions. The carotid endarterectomy procedure usually takes two hours.
Carotid endarterectomy recovery
The doctor requires a hospital stay for the patient after a carotid endarterectomy. The patient may continue day-to-day activities about a week after surgery, as long as it doesn’t involve strenuous physical labor. Neck aches may last for about 2 weeks following the surgery It is important that the patient not to turn their head too fast during the recovery period.
Carotid endarterectomy risks
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks with the carotid endarterectomy procedure. Some of these risks can include:
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Development of blood clots
- Heart attack
- Redevelopment of plaque buildup