Carotid Angioplasty: The Minimally Invasive Approach to Treat Carotid Artery Stenosis

Severe heartache, man suffering from chest pain, having painfulCarotid angioplasty is a method that opens clogged arteries to avert or treat the stroke. The carotid arteries are situated on each side of your neck and are the primary arteries supplying blood to your brain. The process involves temporarily injecting and inflating a tiny balloon where your carotid artery is blocked to widen the arteries. Carotid angioplasty is often combined with the placing of a small metal coil called a stent inside the blocked artery. The stent assists prop the artery open and reduce the chance of it narrowing again. Carotid angioplasty and stenting may be used when conventional carotid surgery is not feasible or is too risky.

Why is it done?

Carotid angioplasty and stenting are an appropriate stroke treatment or stroke prevention alternative if:

  • You have a carotid artery with a 70% blockage or more, especially if you have had a heart attack or stroke symptoms, and you are not in a good enough is health to go through surgery — for example, if you have severe heart or lung disease or had radiation for neck tumors
  • You previously had a carotid endarterectomy and going through new narrowing following surgery (restenosis)
  • The location of the narrowing (stenosis) is hard to access with endarterectomy.

In some cases, conventional carotid surgery (carotid endarterectomy) may be advised to separate the buildup of plaques that is narrowing the artery. In some other cases, carotid angioplasty and stenting may be a better alternative.

Risks Involved

As with any surgical method, complications may arise. Following are some of the hurdles that may be linked with carotid angioplasty and stenting:

  • Stroke or mini-stroke (Transient Ischemic Attack):- During angioplasty, blood clots that form on the catheters can break loose and travel to your brain. Blood thinners are provided during the procedure to lower this risk. A stroke can also happen if plaques in your artery are dislodged when the catheters are being threaded through the blood vessels.
  • New narrowing of the carotid artery (restenosis):- A major disadvantage of carotid angioplasty is the possibility that your artery will re-narrow within months of the process. Stents have been developed to lower the risk of restenosis.
  • Blood clots:- Blood clots can form within stents even weeks or month’s angioplasty. These blood clots can cause a stroke or death. It is significant to take aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix) and other medicines exactly as prescribed to decrease the risk of clots forming in your stent.
  • Bleeding:- You may have to bleed at the location in your leg where catheters were inserted. Normally, this simply results in a bruise, but sometimes critical bleeding happens and may need a blood transfusion or surgical process.

Preparing for the Treatment

Before a scheduled angioplasty, your surgeon reviews your medical history and does a physical exam. You may also have one or more of the following examinations before an angioplasty and stenting process:

  • Ultrasound:- A scanner is proceeded over the carotid artery to generate images (using sound waves) of the narrowed artery and the flow of blood to the brain.
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) or computerized tomography angiography (CTA):- These exams offer highly detailed pictures of blood vessels by using either or X-rays radiofrequency waves in a magnetic field with contrast materials.
  • Carotid Angiography:- During this exam, contrast material is inserted into an artery so that vessels can be seen and examined. You will receive directive on what you can or can’t eat or drink before angioplasty. Your preparation may be different if you are already staying at the hospital before your process.

The night before your procedure-

  1. Follow your doctor’s order about adjusting your current medications. Your surgeon may instruct you to stop taking certain medicines before angioplasty, particularly if you take certain diabetes medicines or blood thinner.
  2. Take approved medicines with only small sips of water.
  3. Arrange for transportation home. Angioplasty usually needs an overnight hospital stay, and you will not be able to drive yourself home the next day because of remaining effects of the sedative.

What Can You Expect?

Carotid angioplasty is considered a non-surgical process because it is less invasive than this surgery. Your body is not cut open except for a minuscule cut in a blood vessel in your groin. General anesthesia is not needed, so you are awake during the process. You will receive fluids and medicines to relax you through an intravenous (IV) catheter.

Outcome of Carotid Angioplasty

For many people, carotid angioplasty and stenting increases blood flow through the previously clogged artery and lowers the risk or indications of a stroke. Seek emergency medical care if your signs and symptoms come back, like trouble in walking, numbness on one side of your body, speaking or other indications similar to those you had before your process, contact your doctor immediately. Carotid angioplasty and stenting are not an appropriate treatment for all. Your doctor can determine if the advantages outweigh the potential risks. Because carotid angioplasty is new than the traditional carotid surgery, long-term outcomes are still under investigation. Talk to your doctor about what outcomes you might expect and what kind of follow-up is required after your procedure. To Avail Low Cost Carotid Angioplasty & Stenting Procedure in India, Contact us at:  Or, E-mail at:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s