Accidents Happen: A Guide to Children's Emergencies

Carotid Artery Surgery Reduces Your Risk Of Stroke

Patients often think of their arteries in terms of heart health, but your brain also needs a regular supply of blood and oxygen to function. If you are worried about your risk of stroke, a neurosurgeon may be able to remove dangerous plaque building inside your carotid arteries. Speak to your physician and read on to learn more about your surgical options.

Exploring the Role of the Carotid Artery

Your carotid arteries are the main supply of blood to fuel your brain and facial organs. They carry the vital oxygen needed to sustain brain cells, making them one of the most critical parts of your body. The carotid splits near the bottom of your throat and travels up each side of the neck. When one or both of those arteries grows clogged with plaque, it causes a stroke and, potentially, permanent brain damage. 

Clearing a Clogged Carotid Artery

Because most strokes have lasting consequences for their victims, it is essential to catch a carotid blockage before it deprives your brain of oxygen. The most popular initial treatment is surgical, a procedure known as a carotid endarterectomy or CEA. During the process, the artery is cut open and its plaque physically removed. CEA surgeries are typically performed by a neurosurgeon due to their sensitive interactions with the brain. 

Monitoring Your Results

Despite the best efforts of you and your surgeon, recurring blockages, or restenosis, do sometimes occur. The underlying cause of the first blockage may lead to further artery hardening and plaque buildup. One study from 2007 found a restenosis rate of about 2 percent within a year of a carotid endarterectomy. Restenosis is often asymptomatic, meaning you will need regular checkups to catch it. 

Dealing With a Second Blockage

If later tests indicate a second blockage forming in your carotids, your physician is likely to recommend a less invasive procedure like carotid stenting. A stent is a mesh tube inserted into the artery to hold it open, ensuring regular blood flow. Because endovascular techniques like this do not require cutting the artery open, there are fewer chances for complications than a second CAE surgery. 

Strokes are a real danger for anyone at risk of cardiovascular disease. Those that are not fatal will still disrupt your life for months, years, or even permanently. Don't wait for an emergency scenario to protect your body from itself. Speak to your doctor today to check the state of your arteries and take steps to reduce your risk of stroke.

For more information, contact local professionals or visit sites like

About Me

Accidents Happen: A Guide to Children's Emergencies

One of the things I learned when I had children was that accidents can happen at any time. Unfortunately, my children's pediatrician was not always available when those accidents did happen. I had to learn what was considered an emergency and what could wait until the doctor's office was open. Knowing the difference and what to do in non-emergency situations can be confusing. That is why I created this blog. I wanted to provide other parents with a guide that helps them to understand when it is time to head for urgent care or the hospital and when injuries could be treated at home.