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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Does surgery for blocked carotid artery cause any risk?

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Dr. Ilir Sharka

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 5747 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 20 Apr 2018 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: I want to know what the risk is of having Surgery for a very blocked carotid artery?
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Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
I would explain as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello!

Welcome and thank you for asking on HCM!

You should know that carotid artery surgery may impose you to some possible complications during and after surgery:

- low blood pressure or high blood pressure related to the stimulation of the baroreceptors during surgery. This complications is usually well managed by the anesthetist

- Brain hyperperfusion syndrome with a risk for brin bleeding up to 1% after surgery

- Wound infections up to 0.2% of the patients.

- cranial nerve damage, in up to 30% of the patients. The main nerve to be damaged is laringeal securens nerve, which may lead to difficulties in breathing and swallowing, up to 3% of the patients.

But compared to all the above risks of surgery, you should think also of the possible risk of occlusion of this carotid artery if not treated. If this happens, it will lead to half of the body paralysis and also to a certain risk for death.

You should discuss with your doctor on the above issues.

Hope you will find this answer helpful!

Kind regards,

Dr.Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Ilir Sharka 1 hour later
Why would a stroke Absolutely have to have paralysis or death. I have been lied to believe that if you catch it in time all of the symptoms can be reversed
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Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
I would explain as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello again!

Catching in time a stroke, means to go to the hospital within three hours and be treated with thrombolysis.

Besides, thrombolysis is not always effective and there is a certain risk for bleeding too.

Anyway, we can not predict if it will be a small or big stroke and when it will occur. Limb paralysis and death are complications of big stroke (complete occlusion of carotid artery). I would also mention that there is always some collateral vascularization, which can help preserve some areas of the brain from ischemia too.

We can not really predict what will happen.

So, it is up to you to decide.

You should discuss with your doctor!

Kind regards,

Dr.Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
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