A 52-year-old member asked:
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is it worth it for an eighty-seven year old alzheimer's patient to have surgery to clear a blocked carotid artery?

3 doctor answers
Dr. Maureen Nash
23 years experience Geriatric Psychiatry
No 1 answer fits all: Every surgery has risks and benefits. Each specific person and their particular health history also bring benefits and risks to the discussion. Answering this question for any particular person is best done with honest open communication discussing all of the risks and benefits between the healthcare team and the person most effected.
Answered on Oct 3, 2016
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1 comment
Dr. Michael Korona
32 years experience Interventional Radiology
If the patient is severely debilitated, not good to intervene.
Oct 1, 2012
Dr. Barry Rosen
33 years experience General Surgery
Age & Surgery: Every operation is approached with consideration of the risks vs. Benefits. We are also taught to consider one's physiologic age rather than any set number. As a surgeon, i would have a hard time offering elective surgery to someone with (advanced) alzheimer's disease unless i knew it would improve their quality of life.
Answered on Dec 9, 2013
Dr. James Ferguson
45 years experience Pediatrics
Ethical issues: From one vantage point, withholding a common procedure because of a disability is bad. However, any intervention with a level of risk must be worth while to the quality of life of the patient. If it just prolongs the process of dying, without an improvement of life, it is unfair to all involved.
Answered on Jun 15, 2017

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What?: One does not usually require thoracic surgery to clear carotid obstruction.
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Yes: If there is stanosis after surgery and it is not at a critical point, it is very important to take blood thinners.
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