Brain is a complex yet most powerful organ which regulates entire body including the way an individual thinks and behaves. Any abnormality in functioning of brain can result in serious complications including stroke. Carotid arteries are the major blood vessels that constantly feed fresh oxygenated blood to brain and helps it to function properly. They are situated on both the sides of neck. Narrowing of carotid artery can limit flow of blood to patient’s brain and permanently damage it or even lead to death. Therefore, patients who are struggling with narrowed carotid artery condition should seek a prompt healthcare solution for retaining good health.
What is Carotid Endarterectomy?
Carotid endarterectomy is a medical procedure which is performed to minimize the risk of stroke by treating narrowed or blocked carotid artery condition. The most common reason behind blockage of carotid artery is accumulation of stubborn fatty material known as ‘plaque’. Carotid endarterectomy procedure can significantly help in removing plaque and maintaining normal flow of blood through affected carotid artery.
Good Candidates for Carotid Endarterectomy Procedure
Patients who fall under the given category are considered to be good candidates for undergoing a carotid endarterectomy procedure.
- Carotid Artery Stenosis – A health condition which narrows down or blocks carotid artery to a great extent (more than 60 %) is referred to as carotid artery stenosis. This disease can deprive brain cells of blood and eventually result in stroke. Patients who are suffering from such condition are the most suitable candidates for carotid endarterectomy
- General Health – Patients who want to undergo a carotid endarterectomy procedure must be in a good general health. They should not have chronic illnesses or diseases such as serious heart or kidney disease.
- No Smoking – Smoking can lead to various life-threatening problems during and after the surgery. Therefore, patients who do not smoke are considered to be suitable for this procedure.
Preparing for Carotid Endarterectomy Surgery
Patients should consult an experienced neurosurgeon for determining whether carotid endarterectomy is beneficial for them. During initial consultation, main objective of neurosurgeons will be to determine the extent of blockage in carotid artery. They may begin the session by asking relevant questions to patients such as their daily routine habits, medical history, and medicines which they are taking currently. In addition to this, they may order the below-mentioned tests to figure out exact underlying condition of patient’s carotid artery.
- Carotid Duplex Ultrasound Scan – It is a painless procedure which helps in producing clear and high-resolution images of patient’s carotid arteries by means of sound waves. Also, it can measure the amount of blood which flows through affected carotid artery. Neurosurgeons introduce patients to a device that produces sound waves and note down the readings.
- Computed Tomography Angiogram (CTA) – This procedure involves injecting a special dye into patient’s body which is capable of generating precise images of affected carotid artery and plaque inside it. It uses x-rays to serve the purpose of outlining the internal condition.
- Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) – This test is similar to that of computed tomography angiogram. Only difference between these procedures is that an MRA involves strong radio waves and magnetic field instead of x-rays to create images of carotid artery.
Doctors may give a diet chart to patients few weeks before surgery for helping them stay fit. Also, patients should avoid smoking and drinking alcohol during this time. These changes will definitely help in reducing post-surgical complications and increasing the chances of successful carotid endarterectomy procedure.
Carotid Endarterectomy Procedure
Carotid endarterectomy is a simple procedure which requires a couple of hours to complete. It can be performed with the help of given steps.
- Anesthesia – At first, respective neurosurgeons use either general or local anesthesia to relax the patients. General anesthesia puts the patients in complete sleeping mode. Whereas, local anesthesia only numbs the portion of neck where incision will be made.
- Making Incision – Surgeons clean the neck region and carefully make a small incision to reach carotid artery. Along with this, they may use a thin tube-like device called as a shunt to regulate the flow of blood until the artery is being operated. Nowadays, a flexible and long instrument called as catheter is being used widely instead of shunt.
- Removal of Plaque – Surgeons insert catheter or shunt into the blocked carotid artery and start removing the unwanted plaque.
- Closing Incision – Once the plaque is removed, surgeons close the incision with a special patch or stitch it up carefully.
Patients will be monitored for a couple of hours to manage and effectively postoperative problems.
Risks and Complications Associated with Carotid Endarterectomy Surgery
The given list describes general risks and complications associated with carotid endarterectomy surgery.
- Pain or Infection at Incision Site – Patients may get a severe infection around their neck and experience pain where incision was made by respective neurosurgeons.
- Restenosis – Carotid artery may get blocked again after some time. This condition is referred to as restenosis. Patients who lead a sedentary life following the surgery are likely to encounter this complication.
- Nerve Damage – This complication is rarely observed in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy. However, it may lead to extreme weakness in face and neck region.
- Heavy Bleeding – Heavy bleeding may occur around incision site. In such instances, an immediate care is important to save patient’s life.
- Stroke or Death – Sometimes, surgical failure may lead to stroke or death of patients.
Patients must discuss regarding potential complications and their possible solutions with neurosurgeons prior undergoing endarterectomy surgery.
Recovery Following Carotid Endarterectomy Surgery
Patients are generally required to stay under medical supervision for a couple of days following carotid endarterectomy surgery. They may feel uneasiness around their neck where the incision was made. Neurosurgeons are likely to provide medicines for controlling neck pain or discomfort. They may leave the hospital after getting a green flag from neurosurgeons. Respective neurosurgeons may advise them to follow a regular exercise regimen and avoid oily or fattening foods. Furthermore, patients should strictly visit hospital at regular intervals for follow-up care sessions. It will considerably reduce the chances of getting stroke or any other serious health complications and improve patient’s quality of life. Complete recovery may take several months. Patients should dedicatedly follow surgeon’s guidelines to speed up the healing process.
Merits of Availing Carotid Endarterectomy in India with Travcure
Travcure Medical Tourism is one of the leading medical care facilitators in the world. Medical consultants at Travcure are closely associated with a wide network of eminent health care centers and well-trained neurosurgeons in India. These neurosurgeons are well-versed in performing surgeries like carotid endarterectomy. They have great success record of providing best outcomes following such neurological treatments. Carotid endarterectomy cost in developed countries is quite high. Whereas, Travcure offers carotid endarterectomy at highly affordable rates in India without compromising its ideal parameters. In addition to this, they provide a free online medical consultation to overseas patients for solving their treatment related-queries. They stay in touch with international patients during recovery phase even when they return to their homelands. They make every single effort to meet patient’s requirements and make their healthcare journey a hassle-free experience. Therefore, international patients can choose Travcure Medical Tourism for availing best carotid endarterectomy in India.
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