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. Following the incision, the surgeon will place clamps on the artery, above and below the blockage, to temporarily stop blood flow. Next, in the area we will operate on, the surgeon will place a shunt to direct blood flow away. 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.
recovery from Carotid endarterectomy
Following a carotid endarterectomy, the doctor will require a hospital stay for the patient. 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