A carotid endarterectomy is one of the many procedures used to treat vascular conditions. The overall goal of this surgical procedure is to reduce blockages in an attempt to prevent stroke. This procedure is common and is an extremely common vascular procedure Franklin TN. This vascular procedure is not a cure for the condition. However, in situations where blockages have become life-threatening, the procedure can save a lot of lives. While it is rare, the blockages can return, and the procedure may have to be repeated.
What is Carotid Endarterectomy
This procedure is aimed at reducing the fatty, waxy build up inside of arteries and blood vessels that are located on both sides of your neck. The narrowing of these blood vessels puts patients at a greater risk of having a stroke, which can lead to death. There are different approaches to performing the procedure. It involves making an incision on the neck that allows the surgeon to access the carotid artery to remove the plaque buildup that is causing the blockage. Severe cases may require the surgeon to temporarily remove a portion of the artery to remove the clog. The artery is then reattached and the incision is closed using a standard closing procedure or patch.
Why the Procedure is Performed
There are many reasons why a vascular surgeon would recommend a carotid endarterectomy procedure for several reasons. The most common reason is the degree, or percentage, of blockage. Let’s take a look at the degrees of blockages.
A moderate blockage is defined as the carotid artery being between 50-79% blocked. Patients who fall into this category are at high risk of having a mini-stroke, or TIA. Both could be life-threatening.
A severe blockage is defined as having at least an 80% blockage. Sometimes patients with this severe of a blockage do not have any symptoms until they have an attack. It’s dangerous.
Risks of the Procedure
Even if patients had no symptoms before their procedure, they can face a greater risk of having a stroke. Between 2 and 3% of patients. The risk of stroke is even higher for patients how did have symptoms prior to their procedure by between 5 and 7%. After the procedure is completed, patients are evaluated often and their limbs will be checked by nurses to check for clots caused by plaque particles that can break loose during surgery. Patients who have this procedure face a temporarily increased risk for suffering from a heart attack, nerve damage, and damage to the vocal cords and tongue.
Deciding on the Procedure
Some patients do face a higher risk of suffering some pretty serious risks. However, if your doctor has recommended this procedure, they have weighted the benefits you will achieve against the risks. The conditions treated by this procedure are known to quickly claim lives. This means your doctor has determined that your condition is placing your life at great risk.