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Doctor insights on: Both Carotid Arteries Blocked

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What happens if your cardiologist told you both of your carotid arteries were blocked?

What happens if your cardiologist told you both of your carotid arteries were blocked?

Depends: Depends on the degree of blockage. In most cases it is just an indicator that a patient needs treatment for generalized atherosclerosis. In occasional cases it increases the risk for stroke and needs to be treated. See a vascular surgeon for a good opinion.

Dr. Chad Levitt
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Artery (Definition)

Arteries are defined as blood vessels which carry blood away from the heart (to either the body or lungs). Arteries: higher pressure, thicker walls, stretch (pulse) with each heart contraction & deliver blood to the arterioles which control the flow to individual capillaries. Veins are blood vessels which carry blood from capillaries back to the heart (body to right heart; ...Read more


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My cardiologist told me both of my carotid arteries are blocked. What are my options?

My cardiologist told me both of my carotid arteries are blocked. What are my options?

See vascular surgeon: I suspect he means that the carotid arteries have partial blockage, usually in the form of atherosclerosis. In the absence of neurological symptoms, most cases can be handled with medicine and close periodic follow up by a vascular surgeon. However, if the blockage is more than 80%, surgery will reduce the risk of stroke. In very special instances, carotid angioplasty and stent may be an option.

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Could blocked carotid arteries impair vision?

Could blocked carotid arteries impair vision?

Yes: It can cause a field cut (homonymous hemianopsia) in which vision is lost in the same area of the field in both eyes often described as "shade coming down"; it can also cause sudden blindness in one eye (retinal embolism).

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Could blocked carotid arteries impair vision?

Could blocked carotid arteries impair vision?

Definately: Amarosis fugax, or "fleeting blindness" is described as a curtain coming down over your eye -- this is a classic presentation of carotid artery disease. You should see your doctor right away.

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Can carotid arteries be replaced if they are too blocked for carotid end-arterectomy?

Can carotid arteries be replaced if they are too blocked for carotid end-arterectomy?

No: If you have a complete blockage of the carotid artery, then no treatment is advised. If blockage is severe, carotid endarterectomy or stenting can be done. The degree of blockage and presence of symptoms determine the need for intervention.

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If your mother has 50% blocked Carotid Arteries at 75+ At what age should the Son or Daughter be checked (Screened)Are there symptoms to look out for?

If your mother has 50% blocked Carotid Arteries at 75+ At what age should the Son or Daughter be checked (Screened)Are there symptoms to look out for?

Atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is a systemic problem, I.e. High circulating levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) deposit in different vascular beds over time. In other words, more important for u to get a fasting lipid panel and treat your cholesterol aggressively rather than query about a point in time to check for occult carotid artery disease. Additionally if u are of south Asian descent, pls not LDL <100 mg/dl.

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My brother has blocked carotid arteries and leg veins. Can physicians operate on both at the same time?

My brother has blocked carotid arteries and leg veins. Can physicians operate on both at the same time?

Not a good idea: Carotid occlusive disease and it's corresponding operation are very serious issues that should not be combined with surgery for varicose veins. Both have a great deal of importance but the more important and serious of the two should be addressed first-carotid endarterectomy. The varicose vein surgery can be done anytime thereafter.

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Is surgery for blocked carotid artery dangerous?

Is surgery for blocked carotid artery dangerous?

Carotid surgery: Carotid surgery should be done when risk of not doing so higher. Stroke risk lowest for asymptomatic stenosis, higher in those with TIAs and yet higher with prior stroke. Risk of MI can be higher than stroke risk. Slight risk of bleeding, real but low risk cranial nerve injury, low risk of surgically significant carotid renarrowing. Generally stroke risk lower for surgery, MI risk lower for stent.

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Carotid artery feels numb and full. I'm only 18 but could it be possible my artery is blocked?

Doubtful: Unlikely, at your age, you would experience carotid thrombosis, unless you had trauma, and then, a stroke would develop. The sensation over the neck could represent muscle spasm, enlarged lymph node, or aberrant thyroid tissue. See your doc, get examined, and hopefully, get reassured.

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My carotid artery is 80% blocked and I am going in for carotid stenting next thur. Started smoking again. Am I going to be okay??

My carotid artery is 80% blocked and I am going in for carotid stenting next thur. Started smoking again. Am I going to be okay??

Avoid smoking: Since that is what caused it. Somewhat concerned about you getting a carotid stent at age 42 since it is reserved for high risk patients. You should discuss carotid stent vs carotid endarterectomy with your physician.

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I had parotid surgeries 25 & 20 years ago. I recently experienced TIA. Tests show left carotid artery 30% blocked & right carotid artery 70%.?

I had parotid surgeries 25 & 20 years ago. I recently experienced TIA. Tests show left carotid artery 30% blocked & right carotid artery 70%.?

Focus on carotids: Likely the carotid blockages are due to longstanding deposits of cholesterol and plaques along the inside of the arteries. Coukd be due to high cholesterol or genetics. This is likely what's causing your TIAs as these arteries are the main source if blood into the brain. The lack of blood to the brain can cause TIAs and eventually full strokes. Discuss your options with your doc for treatment

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I think I have heart problem or a blocked carotid artery. Which came first?

I think I have heart problem or a blocked carotid artery. Which came first?

Both at the same tim: Factors causing one cxause they other: smoking, bad cholesterol issues, increased blood pressure, diabetes, and several less liekly other, like homocysteinemia. These causitive factors need be treated. Both carotid blockage or coronary ischemia may require intervention, surgically.

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Please explain why does my mom's blocked carotid artery make her act so different?

Stroke: A blocked carotid artery may result in a stroke. This could explain a change in her behavior or personality. If she has not had a stroke, however, a carotid artery blockage would not cause her to "act any differently.".

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High cholesterol and pain in left neck right where carotid artery is. Could it be blocked?

High cholesterol and pain in left neck right where carotid artery is. Could it be blocked?

Carotid pain: May be something called carotidynia. Your doctor can check to see if you have inflammation. May need mri.

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What does it mean if my mom's blocked carotid artery is starting to make her act so different?

What does it mean if my mom's blocked carotid artery is starting to make her act so different?

Unlikely related: It's unlikely related, however she should see her PMD to make sure this is not related to small strokes (TIAs)

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Should a 87 year old alzheimer's patient have surgery to clear a blocked carotid artery?

Should a 87 year old alzheimer's patient have surgery to clear a blocked carotid artery?

It's personal: Every person should consider the risks and benefits of any procedure or surgery. When one is 87, one way to look at it is, what cause of death does one want to avoid the most.

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Carotid Arteries (Definition)

The carotid arteries start in the chest and progress up the sides of the neck. About mid neck they split and one branch supplies blood to the face the, the other continues without branches into the skull and supplies ...Read more