You had an angioplasty done when you were in the hospital. You may have also had a stent (a tiny tube) placed in the blocked area to keep it open. Both of these were done to open a narrowed or blocked artery that supplies blood to your brain.
Your health care provider inserted a catheter (flexible tube) into an artery through an incision (cut) in your groin.
Your health care provider used live x-rays to carefully guide the catheter up to the area of the blockage in your carotid artery.
Then your health care provider passed a guide wire through the catheter to the blockage. A balloon catheter was pushed over the guide wire and into the blockage. The balloon on the end was blown up. This opened the blocked artery.
You should be able to do most of your normal activities within a few days, but take it easy.
If your surgeon put the catheter in through your groin:
You will need to care for your incision.
Having carotid artery surgery does not cure the cause of the blockage in your arteries. Your arteries may become narrow again. To lower your chances of this happening:
Your doctor may recommend that you take aspirin or another medicine called clopidogrel (Plavix) when you go home. These medicines keep blood clots from forming in your arteries and in the stent. Do NOT stop taking them without talking with your doctor first.
Call your doctor or nurse if:
Carotid angioplasty and stenting - discharge; CAS - discharge; Endarterectomy - carotid artery - discharge; Angioplasty - carotid artery - discharge; Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty - carotid artery - discharge; PTA - carotid artery - discharge; Angioplasty - carotid artery - discharge
2011 ASA/ACCF/AHA/AANN/AANS/ACR/ASNR/CNS/SAIP/SCAI/SIR/SNIS/SVM/SVS Guideline on the Management of Patients With Extracranial Carotid and Vertebral Artery Disease. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. published online Jan 31, 2011.
Goldstein LB. Prevention and management of stroke. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Libby: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. Saunders;2007:chap 58.
Mas JL, Chatellier G, Beyssen B, Branchereau A, Moulin T, Becquemin JP, et al. Endarterectomy versus stenting in patients with symptomatic severe carotidstenosis. N Engl J Med. 2006 Oct 19;355(16):1660-71.
Eckstein HH, Ringleb P, Allenberg JR, et al. Results of the Stent-Protected Angioplasty versus Carotid Endarterectomy (SPACE) study to treat symptomatic stenoses at 2 years: a multinational, prospective, randomised trial. Lancet Neurol. 2008 Oct;7(10):893-902. Epub 2008 Sep 5.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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