Are you experiencing symptoms of a Stroke? Stroke is one of the top killer diseases in the world. Carotid Endarterectomy is the answer that could help reduce your risk. We understand the value of every life and so we are committed to restore every individual’s life with state of art techniques and a dedicated medical team.
Carotid Endarterectomy is a surgical procedure to unblock a carotid artery. Carotid arteries are the main blood vessels to the head and neck. Carotid artery disease occurs when there is a plaque build up which results in a restrictive blood flow potentially causing either a Stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) (mini-stroke).
Plaque is formed by fatty deposits made of cholesterol, fat, calcium, protein and, cellular waste.
When a Stroke or TIA occurs, there can be two ways the flow of blood to the carotid arteries can be blocked or restricted:
- An ischaemic stroke – carotid artery is completely blocked thereby restricting blood supply to the brain
- An embolic stroke – a blood clot could be formed on the roughened surface of the carotid artery and breaks off, causing one or more arteries to be blocked in the brain.
Causes of Carotid artery disease
Plaque builds up inside the arteries making it stiffer and narrower increasing the chances of blood clots. Several reasons contribute to the causes:
- Old age
- High fat diet
- High blood pressure
- Family history of atherosclerosis
Symptoms of Carotid artery disease
- Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness on one side of the limb
- Sudden loss of balance, coordination, difficulty in walking
- Sudden dizziness or confusion
- Difficulty in speaking
- Sudden severe headache
- Memory problem
- Difficulty swallowing
Diagnosis and tests
- Physical examination
- Carotid ultrasound
- Cerebral angiography
- CT Scan
- Blood tests
Grading of narrowed arteries
The severity of the narrowing (stenosis) is graded on three categories namely,
- Minor: 0 – 49% narrowed
- Moderate: 50 - 69% narrowed
- Severe: 70 – 99% blocked
Surgery is recommended with patients having had a Stroke or TIA and moderate or severe stenosis. Patients with complete blockage do not benefit from Carotid Endarterectomy.
- A serious illness that could increase perioperative risk or shorten life span
- Patients with major stroke with minimal recovery
- Patients with significantly altered level of consciousness.
- Physical examination done by your doctor
- Taking necessary diagnostic tests
- Complete review of the test results and your medical history
- Make sure you mention all your medications and allergies
- You will be asked to stop smoking if you do
- If you are overweight, you will be asked to keep it under control
- You will be asked to fast 8 – 12 hours before surgery
- Medications given should be swallowed with small sips of water
- You will be asked to stop taking certain medications like blood thinners
- Make sure you do not wear any jewellery or make-up on the day of surgery.
- The surgery is performed under local or general anaesthesia and you will feel no pain
- It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to operate
- If both sides of the carotid arteries are blocked, one will be performed some weeks after the first
- The surgeon makes an incision on the neck where the blockage is
- The surgeon can temporarily reroute the blood flow around the blockage
- A lengthwise incision is made along the portion of the artery containing the plaque
- The plaque is removed, and the stitches are closed with a patch of material so that there would be no recurrence of blockage
- Blood flow is restored to its normal function
- A small tube may be left to in the wound to ensure all blood is drained after the operation.
- You may stay in the hospital for a day or two depending on your recovery
- You will experience some soreness and/or swelling for a few days, but this is normal and will pass after some time
- The small tube for draining blood will be removed a day after the surgery
- Any pain can be medicated
- An ultrasound of the carotid artery made be done as a follow up to ensure there is no recurrence
- You will be advised to refrain from physical activities including sports, or carrying heavy objects for a few weeks
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is imperative to a good recovery
- You could go back to work 3 to 4 weeks after surgery.
Risks and complications
Although surgery is generally safe, it is not without risks and complications despite being minimal. Some possibilities are:
- Pain or numbness on the site
- Nerve damage
- Recurrence of carotid artery
Certain factors could attribute to an increased risk which are:
- Age – older people have a higher risk
- Having previously had a Stroke or TIA
- Whether there is a blockage in the other carotid artery as well
- Other health conditions like cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure etc.
Factors affecting the cost of Carotid Endarterectomy
The average cost for the surgery starts from $8700. Factors that affect the price are:
- Location of the hospital
- Choice of hospital
- Surgeon’s fee
- Duration of stay
- Diagnostic tests