Carotid Angioplasty and Stenting

Carotid angioplasty and stenting are procedures done to open blocked arteries and restore blood flow to the brain. They are mainly performed to prevent or treat stroke. Carotid arteries are the main arteries located on each side of our neck supplying blood to our brain. When they are clogged with fatty deposits known as plaque they slow and block the blood flow to our brain; a condition which is known as carotid artery disease thatcan lead to a stroke.
Carotid angioplasty procedure involves inserting and inflating a tiny balloon temporarily into the clogged artery and widen its area so that blood can flow freely to the brain.

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Carotid angioplasty and stenting are done combinedly and the procedures involves placing a small metal coil in the clogged artery which helps to prop the artery open and also decreases the chance of it narrowing. Carotid angioplasty and stenting are mainly used when traditional carotid surgery is not possible or when it is too risky.
Carotid angioplasty and stenting are appropriate stroke treatments in cases when a carotid artery has a blockage of more than 70 percent or if the patient has stroke symptoms or stroke and not healthy enough to undergo surgery. Carotid endarterectomy is another choice to remove the plaque clogging the artery.

Duringsurgery, blood clots that are formed on the catheters sometimes break free and travel to the brain. In such cases blood thinners are required during the procedure to reduce this risk and a stroke can also occur when the plaque in the artery gets dislodged while the catheters are being passed through the blood vessels.
There are also some drawbacks after carotid angioplasty like the carotid arteries can become narrow again after some months which is known as restenosis. To reduce the risk of restenosis new drug-coated stents have been specially developed. Carotid angioplasty is minimally invasive and nonsurgical. The surgeon makes a small incision in the blood vessel and a long flexible catheter with a tiny delated balloon will be passed into the carotid artery in the neck to diffuse the blood clots or remove blockages. A mesh known as stent is placed there to prevent formation of plaque and after the surgery blood flow is increased in the blocked artery and reduces the risk of stroke.
Carotid angioplasty is a newer method than traditional carotid surgery, follow-ups are needed after the surgery. Lifestyle changes are also recommended by doctors; like not smoking,exercising,maintaining diet and weight control,keeping cholesterol,diabetes and triglyceride levels low so the need to do angioplasty becomes null.

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