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Home >> Specialities >> Cardiology >> Carotid Angioplasty

Carotid Angioplasty

Carotid artery disease poses a significant risk to brain health, potentially leading to strokes and other serious complications. Carotid angioplasty, also known as carotid artery stenting (CAS), is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat carotid artery disease. This condition occurs when the carotid arteries, which supply blood to the brain, become narrowed or blocked due to the buildup of plaque.

The Procedure

  • Preparation: Patients typically receive local anaesthesia at the site where the catheter will be inserted, often in the groin.
  • Catheter Insertion: A thin, flexible catheter with a deflated balloon at its tip is guided through the blood vessels to the site of the carotid artery blockage.
  • Balloon Inflation and Stent Placement: Once the catheter is positioned correctly, the balloon is inflated. This action compresses the plaque against the artery wall, widening the artery. In many cases, a stent (a mesh-like tube) is also placed to keep the artery open.
  • Deflation and Removal: After the balloon and stent placement, if necessary, the catheter is deflated and removed, leaving the carotid artery improved in terms of blood flow.

Benefits of Carotid Angioplasty

  • Stroke Prevention: Carotid angioplasty reduces the risk of strokes by restoring proper blood flow in the carotid arteries.
  • Minimally Invasive: The procedure is minimally invasive, leading to shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery times compared to open surgery.
  • Improved Brain Health: By ensuring a stable supply of oxygenated blood to the brain, carotid angioplasty can improve cognitive function and overall brain health.

Considerations and Follow-up
While carotid angioplasty is a valuable procedure, it may not be suitable for all patients, and its success depends on factors such as the location and severity of the blockage. Additionally, patients who undergo this procedure will often need to take medications and make lifestyle changes to manage risk factors that contribute to carotid artery disease, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

In conclusion, carotid angioplasty plays a critical role in preserving brain health and preventing strokes. If you or a loved one is at risk of or experiencing carotid artery disease, consult with a vascular specialist to determine if carotid angioplasty is a suitable treatment option. Early intervention and ongoing care are vital steps in managing this condition and safeguarding your brain's blood supply.

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