Carotid Angioplasty

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Carotid Angioplasty is a procedure to restore proper blood flow to the brain by opening the clogged arteries.

Carotid arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the brain, and are located on either side of the neck. Malfunction of the carotid artery caused due to clot formation, or the deposition of cholesterol plaque, results in decreased blood flow to the brain and surrounding tissues. Clogging of the carotid arteries could cause temporary or permanent impairment, and it could be fatal in some cases.

When is Carotid Angioplasty recommended?

Carotid Angioplasty is recommended for the treatment of Carotid Artery Stenosis, a condition characterised by the narrowing of either one or both the carotid arteries. It is performed in any of the following situations:

  • When an individual has developed stenosis after Carotid Endarterectomy (CAE).
  • When the site of stenosis cannot be accessed through CAE.
  • When an individual cannot tolerate general anesthesia for CAE.
  • When an individual has a medical history of neck irradiation, neck surgery on the ipsilateral side and contralateral vocal cord damage.

When is Carotid Angioplasty recommended?

Carotid Angioplasty is recommended for the treatment of Carotid Artery Stenosis, a condition characterised by the narrowing of either one or both the carotid arteries. It is performed in any of the following situations:

  • When an individual has developed stenosis after Carotid Endarterectomy (CAE).
  • When the site of stenosis cannot be accessed through CAE.
  • When an individual cannot tolerate general anesthesia for CAE.
  • When an individual has a medical history of neck irradiation, neck surgery on the ipsilateral side and contralateral vocal cord damage.When is Carotid Angioplasty recommended?
  • Carotid Angioplasty is recommended for the treatment of Carotid Artery Stenosis, a condition characterised by the narrowing of either one or both the carotid arteries. It is performed in any of the following situations:

Before the procedure

  • Before the procedure, an X-ray imaging scan of the carotid artery provides a detailed image of the carotid artery and the surrounding parts.
  • Small electrodes are placed on the chest to monitor the heart rhythm and heart rate during the procedure

What is the role of a Distal Protection Device in Carotid Angioplasty?

The use of distal protection devices has significantly reduced the high stroke rate associated with Carotid Angioplasty.

After the procedure

  • You will have to remain still for at least 6-8 hours after the surgery to prevent bleeding from the incision site.
  • Most patients would be discharged 48-72 hours after the surgery. It is advised not to drive until given the go ahead by your Doctor.
  • Avoid lifting weights or performing strenuous activities for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
  • It is advised to drink plenty of fluids to help flush out the contrast dye from the body.

Long-term plan

Making certain lifestyle changes helps in maintaining positive health in the long run.

The lifestyle changes to be followed may include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Maintenance of optimum body weight
  • Lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Quit smoking
  • Managing comorbid conditions, such as diabetes and blood pressure

 

Chances of recurrence

Regular use of the prescribed medications, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, helps to prevent recurrence of carotid artery clogging.

Diet and exercise plan

Taking a low-salt and low-fat diet promotes recovery, and helps in the long-term management of underlying conditions. Regular exercise, as suggested by your doctor, helps to lower the risk of clot formation, and promotes good health. Following carotid angioplasty it is important to use asprin and clopidogrel for long term. These medicines will reduce chances of recurrent stoke.

Warning signs that need immediate medical attention:

Seek immediate medical care if you observe symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty in walking or speaking
  • Numbness on one side of the body
  • Bleeding or infection at the site of catheter insertion
  • Weakness and dizziness