Carotid artery surgery, also known as carotid endarterectomy, is a surgical procedure designed to remove plaque or fatty deposits from the carotid arteries. These arteries, located on each side of the neck, supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain. When plaque builds up in these arteries, it can restrict blood flow and increase the risk of stroke. Carotid artery surgery helps to restore proper blood flow and decrease the chances of a stroke occurring.
What is Carotid Artery Surgery?
Carotid artery surgery is a procedure performed to remove plaque buildup from the carotid arteries. Plaque is a combination of cholesterol, fat, and other substances that adhere to the arterial walls. Over time, this buildup narrows the artery and restricts blood flow to the brain, leading to an increased risk of stroke. By removing the plaque, carotid artery surgery aims to restore normal blood flow and prevent future strokes.
The purpose of carotid artery surgery is to reduce the risk of stroke. Stroke occurs when the blood flow to the brain is disrupted, either due to a blood clot or a blocked artery. When atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in the arteries, occurs in the carotid arteries, it increases the likelihood of a blockage forming and causing a stroke. By removing the plaque and widening the artery, carotid artery surgery helps to improve blood flow and decrease the risk of stroke.
Prior to carotid artery surgery, various preparations are necessary. Your healthcare provider will conduct a thorough examination and review your medical history to ensure you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. You may be advised to stop taking certain medications that could increase bleeding during surgery, such as blood thinners. Additionally, your healthcare provider may order tests, such as ultrasound or angiography, to assess the degree of plaque buildup and the condition of your carotid arteries.
Carotid artery surgery involves making an incision along the side of the neck to access the carotid artery. Next, the surgeon carefully removes the plaque from inside the artery and repairs the artery if necessary. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep throughout the operation. The surgeon carefully monitors blood flow to the brain during the procedure to ensure its safety. Once the artery is cleared of plaque, the incision is closed with stitches or staples.
After carotid artery surgery, you will be moved to a recovery area where vital signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate, will be closely monitored by healthcare professionals. You may experience some soreness or discomfort in the neck area, but pain medication can be prescribed to manage any discomfort. The length of the hospital stay will vary depending on your individual circumstances but is typically short. It is common to resume normal daily activities within a week after the surgery, with a focus on gradually increasing physical activity.
Carotid artery surgery is a procedure aimed at removing plaque from the carotid arteries to improve blood flow and decrease the risk of stroke. By addressing the buildup of plaque in these vital arteries, carotid artery surgery helps to restore proper blood circulation to the brain. The surgery involves making an incision in the neck, removing the plaque, and repairing the artery if necessary. Recovery time is relatively quick, with patients typically able to resume normal activities within a short period following the surgery.
Carotid artery surgery plays a vital role in preventing stroke and improving quality of life. By understanding the purpose, procedure, and recovery process of carotid artery surgery, patients can make informed decisions and have realistic expectations for the outcome. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if carotid artery surgery is the right course of action for individual cases of plaque buildup. Early intervention and proper treatment are key in preventing strokes and maintaining optimal brain health.