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Carotid Endarterectomy

A carotid endarterectomy is a neck operation to remove an atherosclerotic blockage in the carotid artery. The purpose of the operation is to reduce the patient’s long term risk of stroke. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and a two inch incision is made in the neck to expose the artery. Usually after removing the blockage a small patch is sewn onto the artery to keep it widely patent. The operation takes one and a half hours and the hospital stay is one day. The patient may return to full activity in 7-10 days. The indication for surgery is any blockage greater than 80% or any blockage causing symptoms such as mini-strokes or vision changes.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I know if I have a neck blockage?

Patients are at risk if they smoke, have diabetes, heart disease or peripheral vascular disease. The doctor may hear a noise in the neck known as a bruit. The best test to evaluate the blockage is a carotid ultrasound as performed in the CVT Vascular Lab. This test is painless and non-invasive and will quantify the degree of narrowing.

What are the symtoms of carotid artery blockage?

The atherosclerotic blockages are most often without symptoms. However, when symtoms occur they are related to the brain circulation or to vision. The visual symptom is known as amaurosis fugax and is temporary blindness, often seen as a shade coming down and then receding, due to platelet emboli. Cerebral symptoms are "mini-stroke" changes and include weakness or numbness of an extremity, difficulty speaking or understanding, or memory problems. If a symtom is dramatic but resolves within 24 hours it is termed a TIA or transient ischemic attack. A TIA due to carotid disease is a strong factor favoring surgery or stenting.

When might a carotid blockage be treated with a stent?

Ongoing studies are evaluation the safety of carotid stenting. CVT Surgical Center has a large experience in carotid stenting and has participated in national trials. At present the stent procedure in reserved for very high risk surgical candidates, and for certain patients with a history of prior radiation therapy or prior carotid surgery.

What is the risk of stroke from the surgical operation?

In our practice the risk of stroke during surgery is 1%. During surgery the patients brain oxygen function and/or EEG are monitored to allow surgery with as little risk as possible.

CT Angiogram
Carotid Endarterectomy
Carotid Stenting
Leg Bypass Surgery
Endoscopic Vein Harvesting
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
AAA Stent Grafting
Angioplasty and Stenting

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CVT Surgical Center
7777 Hennessy Ave. Suite 1008 · Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808
800-375-0416 - Toll Free | 225-766-0416 - Front Desk
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