The carotid arteries, located on either side of the neck, provide blood to the brain. When the artery becomes severely or completely blocked with plaque, the flow is reduced, increasing chances of stroke. These blockages can build up silently over the years. Some patients may have “mini-strokes” as a warning sign. The two surgical procedures used to relieve the blockages are surgery (called endarterectomy), or stenting.
Carotid endarterectomy is the traditional way to relieve the blockage. A small incision is made in the neck and the artery is opened. The obstructing plaque is removed and then the artery is closed. Results with this over decades have been excellent.
Carotid angioplasty and stenting (CAS), a less-invasive way to repair the blockage in your carotid artery, may be an option for some patients. The surgeon inserts a flexible tube (catheter) into the femoral artery and threads it up through the aorta to the blockage in the carotid artery. A balloon (angioplasty) followed by wire mesh tube (stent) are guided up to the blockage and expanded to open the artery. The balloon is then removed, but the stent, if employed, is left in place.
Whether local or general anesthesia is chosen, Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists at Ocala Heart Institute carefully monitor you every step of the way throughout the procedure and afterward.
When considering carotid surgery, we encourage you to meet the doctors at the Ocala Heart Institute to learn how a disciplined, multifaceted team approach will work for you. Carotid procedures require a skillful and experienced surgeon. At Florida’s Ocala Heart Institute you’ll find an entire team of medical professionals to guide you step by step through the process from pre-surgery preparations to final recovery.