Carotid Angioplasty:

 

Carotid angioplasty is a non-surgical procedure performed after the diagnostic angiogram.


During this procedure, a balloon catheter is navigated to the area of the blockage or narrowing. When the balloon is inflated, the fatty plaque or blockage is compressed against the artery walls to improve blood flow. 


During the angioplasty procedure, a carotid stent (a small, metal mesh tube) is placed inside the carotid artery at the site of the blockage and provides support to keep the artery open. 


For patients who meet certain eligibility criteria, carotid stenting offers a less invasive approach than carotid endarterectomy, the traditional surgical treatment for carotid artery blockages. Carotid stenting can be performed while the patient is awake, reducing recovery time.





                Blockage





Carotid Stenting

Why it is done?


It is done to prevent or treat stroke.


Will the patient be awake during the procedure?


Yes. The patient will be awake and conscious during the entire procedure. The doctor will use a local anesthetic to numb the catheter insertion site.


How long does the procedure last?


The procedure usually lasts about one hour, but the preparation and recovery time add several hours. One should plan to stay all day for the procedure, and remain in the hospital overnight.


What are the risks of the procedure?


Some of the possible risks include:


  • Allergic reaction to the medication or contrast material used during the procedure 
  • Irregular heart rhythm 
  • Bleeding at the catheter insertion site 
  • Stroke or death 


What happens after the carotid stenting procedure?


The patient should plan on staying overnight in the hospital after the procedure and will be evaluated by the doctor for neurological exam, and have other tests, such as a carotid ultrasound, to evaluate the results of the procedure. The doctor will prescribe aspirin and clopidogrel to take for atleast 6 months after the procedure. These medications help prevent blood clots from forming at the site where the stent was placed.