A healthy brain is essential for regulation of entire body. Carotid arteries play a vital role in maintaining a good condition of brain. There are two carotid arteries which are present on either side of neck. Brain needs a constant supply of blood to function properly. These arteries supply oxygen and nutrients rich blood to cells and tissues in brain to serve the purpose. Any major blockage in these arteries can reduce the supply of blood to brain and lead to life-threatening conditions such as stroke. In such cases, a carotid angioplasty and stent placement surgery can prove beneficial.
What is Carotid Angioplasty and Stenting (CAS)?
Carotid angioplasty is a medical procedure which is used to treat blockages in carotid arteries. It involves inserting and expanding a balloon inside affected artery to enlarge its internal space which will eventually result in normal flow of blood. For ensuring long-term outcomes, surgeons may combine carotid angioplasty with stenting procedure. Stent is basically a thin tube-like instrument which helps to keep the artery open. Neurosurgeons leave stent inside operated artery to prevent it from re-narrowing in future.
Good Candidates for Carotid Angioplasty and Stent Placement Procedure
Carotid angioplasty and stenting is mostly performed in two cases. It can be either performed to treat stroke or prevent the chances of getting a stroke. The following category of patients is considered to be ideal candidates for undergoing carotid angioplasty and stent placement surgery.
● Severe Blockage – Patients who are struggling with severe blockage that has clogged up to 70 % of the carotid artery are good candidates for CAS. Such patients should consult a well-trained neurosurgeon at the earliest to minimize health risks and complications.
● Failure of Carotid Endarterectomy – Carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure which involves cleaning plaque from carotid arteries. Plaque is undesired substance formed from calcium and fats deposits that block the arteries and decrease flow of blood through it. Patients who have already undergone a carotid endarterectomy and failed to attain relief can undergo CAS.
● Location of Narrowing of Arteries – Carotid artery and stent placement procedure can be a good alternative when other surgical approaches involve serious risks for reaching the exact location of narrowed arteries.
Preparing for Carotid Angioplasty and Stent Placement Surgery
Respective neurosurgeons may begin the session by asking some important questions. They may ask for medical reports of patients to analyze their health status. Surgeons may also request patients to reveal their daily lifestyle habits and all the medicines and supplements they consume regularly. In addition to this, they may order the following tests for a thorough inspection of patient’s carotid arteries.
● Ultrasound Test – An ultrasound test is performed with the help of sound waves. Patients are exposed to sound waves which scan and produce high-quality pictures of respective carotid artery. This test enables the neurosurgeon to view the exact underlying situation and helps them determine whether CAS procedure can help the patients.
● MRA or CTA Test – Neurosurgeons may order advanced imaging tests such as magnetic resonance angiography procedure (MRA) or computerized tomography angiography procedure (CTA) in order to determine the extent of narrowing of artery. These tests use a specialized dye which helps in creating pictures of clogged blood vessel.
● Carotid Angiography – During a carotid angiography procedure, neurosurgeons inject a contrast material in patient’s affected artery. After that, patients are exposed to x-rays and pictures are taken. Contrast material helps to identify the exact location where problem exists.
Once, these tests are completed, patients will be instructed regarding CAS procedure in details. Surgeons will answer their questions and discuss regarding risks and complications of CAS procedure. They may advise patients to quit or begin intake of certain medicines prior to their surgery. Patients must follow their guidelines in order to get successful outcomes in future.
Carotid Angioplasty and Stent Placement Procedure
Carotid angioplasty and stent placement is minimally invasive in nature which indicates that it can be performed with a small incision. Neurosurgeons may ask patients to take certain medicines before operation. The following points elaborate the steps involved in CAS surgery.
● Making Incision – Neurosurgeons are likely to use local anesthesia for numbing area around patient’s groin. They will make a small incision in artery present in this area.
● Catheter – After that, doctors will insert a device known as ‘catheter’ in patient’s artery. Catheter is very thin in size and has a camera on one end. It will be guided with help of x-ray imaging technique to access the blockage. Surgeons may use a specialized contrast material for obtaining a better view of narrowed artery.
● Insertion of Balloon – Surgeons will insert a balloon and stent simultaneously through catheter. Balloon is carefully inflated to expand the area inside the narrowed artery. Stent helps in removal of stubborn plaque along with opening the artery to a greater extent.
● Removal of Balloon – At the end, balloon is removed and stent is left to keep artery open and prevent it from blocking again. Neurosurgeons close the incision and patients are monitored for a few hours to control post-surgical complications.
Risks and Complications Associated with Carotid Angioplasty and Stent Placement
The following are some major risks and complications associated with carotid angioplasty and stenting procedure.
● Heavy Bleeding – Patients may have to face heavy bleeding at incision site. Such condition requires a prompt treatment.
● Brain Damage – In some instances, patient’s brain may get permanently damaged. Patients should choose a well-versed surgeon to avoid such complications.
● Stent Complications – Plaque may develop again and block the internal area of stent over a period of time.
● Kidney Failure, Heart Attack or Stroke – Patients may have to encounter problems like kidney failure, stroke or heart attack if proper measures are not taken during and after the completion of surgery.
Patients must visit doctors for attending follow-up sessions. It will considerably minimize the chances of such complications in postoperative period.
Recovery Following Carotid Angioplasty and Stent Placement Surgery
Patients may have to stay in health care center for a day so that the doctors can keep a check on possible complications. They can go home the next day of CAS surgery. Patients may get a swelling around catheter incision site. Neurosurgeons mostly prescribe some pain-controlling medicines to reduce patient’s uneasiness. Patients will require adopting an active lifestyle and good eating habits to maintain a good health condition. Furthermore, they should not forget to meet doctors at regular intervals for health checkups.
Best Benefits of Availing Carotid Angioplasty in India with Travcure
Travcure Medical Tourism is a leading name in the list of best healthcare tourism facilitators across the world. Healthcare experts at Travcure are associated with highly skilled neurosurgeons and prestigious multispecialty hospitals in India that provide best outcomes following neurological treatments and surgeries such as carotid angioplasty surgery. It is a fact that carotid angioplasty cost in western countries like United States and Australia is very high. It is difficult for a common man to afford such costly medical services. Travcure completely understands healthcare needs of international patients. They offer a free online medical consultation to overseas patients and design cost-effective treatment packages for them. In addition to this, they stay in contact with patients right from their arrival in India to their treatment and recovery even when they return to their home countries. Team Travcure makes every single effort which can help maximize patient’s quality of life. Therefore, overseas patients can count on peerless services offered by Travcure Medical Tourism and avail carotid angioplasty in India.
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