Carotid stenting

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Carotid angioplasty and stenting are procedures that open clogged arteries to restore blood flow to the brain. They’re often performed to treat or prevent strokes.

The carotid arteries are located on each side of your neck. These are the main arteries supplying blood to your brain. They can be clogged with fatty deposits (plaque) that slow or block blood flow to the brain — a condition known as carotid artery disease — which can lead to a stroke.

The procedure involves temporarily inserting and inflating a tiny balloon into the clogged artery to widen the area so that blood can flow freely to your brain.

Carotid angioplasty is often combined with another procedure called stenting. Stenting involves placing a small metal coil (stent) in the clogged artery. The stent helps prop the artery open and decreases the chance of it narrowing again. Carotid angioplasty and stenting may be used when traditional carotid surgery (carotid endarterectomy) isn’t possible, or it’s too risky.

Why opt for carotid stenting

  • a carotid artery with a blockage/ narrowing (stenosis) of 70% or more.
  • if you’ve had a stroke or stroke symptoms,
  • you aren’t in good enough health to undergo surgery
  • experiencing new narrowing after surgery (restenosis)

What are the Risks in carotid stenting

  • Stroke or ministroke (transient ischemic attack, or TIA). To prevent this you’ll receive blood thinners during the procedure to reduce this risk.
  • New narrowing of the carotid artery (restenosis) to prevent this a special drug-coated stents have been developed to reduce the risk of restenosis.

What you can expect of carotid stenting

  • Carotid angioplasty is considered a nonsurgical procedure because it’s less invasive than surgery. Your body isn’t cut open except for a very small nick in a blood vessel in your groin. Most people don’t need general anesthesia and stay awake during the procedure as less than an hour.

After the procedure

There may be a small area of discoloration or a small lump in the area of the puncture. Most people are discharged from the hospital within 24 hours after the procedure. You may need to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for 24 hours after the procedure.