What are the side effects of carotid artery surgery?

Numbness. The most common post-op complaint is actually incisional numbness as well as numbness over the jaw bone of the operated side. Male patients have to be careful when shaving post-op. Pain is surprisingly not a common complaint, or at least manageable. Risks of a carotid endarterectomy include bleeding, nerve injury, stroke and heart attacks- the risk of any major adverse event should be around 2-3%.
Side effects. These occurs rarely but the list includes death, heart attack, stoke, cranial nerve injury, bleeding, infection, and localized numbness near the site of the incision. Complication and side effect lists are almost always big and scary (read the list from any medication you have). Fortunately, in good hands, carotid surgery should be pretty safe.

Related Questions

A family member just returned home from carotid artery surgery on the left side what are the normal after effect symptoms?

Symptoms after surge. He can continue to have the left side of chest pain, shortness of breaths with over exertion. Pain at the surgical sites. So keep eyes on the possibility of infection or bleeding or other post-surgical related issues.

Carotid artery surgery and lack of blood supply to the brain. Could that cause stroke effects?

Yes. Call Now! Patients who have had carotid artery surgery definitely have a risk of stroke. The highest risk of stroke is during and immediately after the procedure and is generally quoted at about 2%. If you are experiencing any signs of stroke and have had recent carotid surgery call your surgeon immediately or go to the emergency room. Difficulty speaking or weakness on one side of the body would be the most common complaints.
Yes. Carotid artery disease accounts for 30-35% of all strokes. Strokes occurring as a result of carotid artery surgery unfortunately are not rare either, though the risk is less than of untreated carotid artery disease.
Cause stroke? Lack of blood supply to the brain is one of the causes of stroke to be sure. Carotid surgery is intended to improve blood supply to the brain.

Can you be too old for carotid artery surgery?

No. If it is not safe to be under genera anesthesia, it can be done under local.
Age for Carotid surg. Overall medical condition as evaluated by your doctors, not age, determines if you should have carotid surgery. A regional block anesthetic, meaning the neck is made numb, will allow the surgery to occur without having to put the person to sleep. This can dramatically reduce the strain on the person having the procedure; as a result we fix carotid arteries on people up into their 90s.

Can you be too old to have carotid artery surgery?

Not necessarily. Age is relative. If a high functioning person has a TIA (mini-stroke) or a full blown stroke with carotid artery narrowing > 50%, then offering carotid surgery is an option. Poor cardiac function (a bad heart) is a contraindication for general anesthesia, however there are other options such as carotid stenting or an awake carotid endarterectomy using a nerve block.
No. The actual age is not as important as the functional wellness of the vital organ systems. The oldest person I have operated upon in terms of carotid endarterectomy was 95 years old. He was very healthy despite his advanced years.
Age and carotid surg. Age alone definitely should not be the factor that determines if your carotid disease is repairable. A comprehensive evaluation of a person's condition is needed to make that decision.

What is the definition or description of: carotid artery surgery?

Surgery of carotid. There are different kinds of carotid artery surgery. The most common, however, is called a carotid endarterectomy. This is done for carotid artery stenosis (blockage). The artery is opened and the blockage is carefully removed and the inside of the artery is cleaned up. The vessel is then often closed with a patch to make it a little larger.
Carotid surgery. Is one of two primary ways to address blockage in the carotid artery that could lead to stroke. The other is carotid stenting.

At what age are you considered too old for carotid artery surgery?

Age/carotid surgery. I don't think there is an age limit. Many factors besides age come into play when considering any surgery. Carotid artery stenting has certainly allowed older patients to have carotid blockages corrected but at a somewhat higher risk for stroke.
None specific. Patients 80 years and above considered high risk for any procedure including carotid surgery. But some patients who are above 80 yrs old are better candidates for carotid surgery than some 60's and 70's yr old patients. So it really depends on every patient.
Too old? It is not the age of a person but their overall condition, life expectancy and things like that which go into the decision to offer repair.

If I had carotid artery surgery, what is the expected recovery time?

Fast. Really depends if you have pre or post procedure stroke or mini stroked which should be unusual. Most probably of everything goes well you can be home next day of surgery and active going to work within a week if pain is controlled.
Well tolerated. After surgery, you may stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days. Because the neck incision is usually small, you may not feel significant pain. After you go home, your physician may recommend that you avoid driving and limit physical activities for several weeks. You can usually begin normal activities again anywhere from 2-6 weeks after the operation. Most 2-4 weeks.
Recovery after CEA. I ask my patients to see me back in the office around 7-10 days after the procedure and tell them they can return to full speed at that point but the neck will take about 4-6 weeks to go back to flat again.

Can statin drugs reduce need for carotid artery surgery?

Rumors exist. There is definitely evidence that the use of statins reduces the incidence of strokes and heart attacks. There have been isolated reports of carotid plaque (narrowing) shrinking with the use of statins but this has not been found true for everybody. Most people agree that statins work by "stabilizing" the plaque and preventing it from rupturing and causing a stroke. This is a hotly debated topic.
Yes. They can help stabilize the plaque. Take Aspirin if prescribed. Control blood pressure. No smoking. If treatment needed check to see if you need surgery or stent.