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Doctor insights on: What Are The Surgical Options For Blocked Carotid Arteries

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Dr. William Singer
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Artery (Definition)

Arteries are a type of blood vessels. We can divide blood vessels into 2 categories. Arteries are high pressure vessels which deliver (red) oxygen + blood out into the body. Veins on the other hand or low pressure vessels which return (dark) oxygent - blood from the body ...Read more


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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. ...Read more

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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. ...Read more

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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?

Is it worth it for an eighty-seven year old alzheimer's patient to have surgery to clear a blocked carotid artery?

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. ...Read more

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My father is 80 years old. He has a carotid artery that a screening has shown to be 90% blocked. Should he consider surgery?

My father is 80 years old. He has a carotid artery that a screening has shown to be 90% blocked. Should he consider surgery?

Benefits vs Risks: Generally any blockage greater than 70% or those with symptoms of carotid artery disease should be surgically repaired. However given your father's age any pre-existing medical problems should be taken into account prior to surgical intervention. A vascular surgeon and your father's primary physician can collaboratively decide if the benefits of surgery outweigh the risks. ...Read more

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Should an eighty-seven year old alzheimer's patient have thoracic surgery to clear a blocked carotid artery?

Should an eighty-seven year old alzheimer's patient have thoracic surgery to clear a blocked carotid artery?

Only if symptomatic: Age or pre-existing conditions, outside of terminal disease, should not be a contraindication for intervention. Medical management is the primary treatment for carotid disease, followed by medical and interventional therapy. In an 87 year old, surgery would be preferred if indicated. ...Read more

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I have some blockages in my carotid arteries and will probably have to have surgery. Is this a very dangerous operation?

I have some blockages in my carotid arteries and will probably have to have surgery. Is this a very dangerous operation?

Depends: This is a very routine operation that carries a low risk of stroke and death if done in an experienced center with a skilled surgical team. The risk of stroke and death should be less than 3 percent. ...Read more

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I have a 100% occluded carotid artery. When should I consider surgery?

Never, most of time: Total occlusion is rarely treated and if treated it is with temporal artery to middle cerebral artery bypass (done very very rarely). Just follow stenosis of other side. ...Read more

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Carotid artery disease. Is it reversible w/o surgery?

Carotid artery disease.  Is it reversible w/o surgery?

No: Using medications like anti hypercholesterol like Lipitor (atorvastatin) binging bad cholesterol or LDL to below 100 showed in some study that it can prevent progression of atherosclerosis and narrowing in carotid arteries . In minority of patients it shows very slow regression or decrease in size but not significant. If u have symptoms and more than 50% stenosis then surgery is the answer. ...Read more

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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