Carotid artery angioplasty and stenting is the preferred non-surgical option for treating a blocked carotid artery. As a highly experienced interventional cardiologist, Satish Sivasankaran, MD, MRCP(UK), FACC, MBA, or as his patients call him, Dr. Siva, at Sunshine Cardiovascular & Vein in New Port Richey, Florida, inserts carotid artery stents in patients with severe blockages or who have suffered a stroke. If you need comprehensive care for carotid artery disease, call the office or book an appointment online.
Two carotid arteries leave your heart, travel up both sides of your neck, and deliver oxygenated blood to your brain. Carotid artery disease, also called carotid stenosis, occurs when fatty deposits (plaques) build up on the arterial wall, a condition called atherosclerosis.
As plaque enlarges and hardens, it blocks blood flow. Without treatment, it eventually causes a stroke. You can also suffer a stroke if the plaque ruptures, sending a piece traveling deeper into the artery and partially or completely stopping blood from reaching your brain.
Carotid artery disease seldom causes symptoms until the blockage leads to a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke.
A TIA occurs when the blood flow is blocked for a short time, then starts flowing again. This condition doesn’t cause brain damage. While TIAs cause the same symptoms as a stroke, they may be too brief or mild to notice.
When you have a stroke, the blood supply stops and doesn’t improve until you get treatment. The loss of blood causes the death of brain cells.
The symptoms of a stroke occur suddenly, and you experience one or more of the following:
Seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.
Patients with blockages in the carotid artery receive one of two primary treatments: a carotid artery stent, which is a minimally invasive procedure, or carotid artery surgery. Dr. Siva of Sunshine Cardiovascular & Vein may insert a stent if you had a recent stroke, have a blockage of over 70%, and he deems you a too high risk for surgery.
You may also get a carotid artery stent when you don’t have symptoms, but more than 80% of the artery is blocked, and you’re not a good candidate for surgery.
Dr. Siva begins the procedure by making a small opening in the femoral artery in your groin. Then he inserts a narrow catheter into the opening and uses X-ray imaging to guide it through your blood vessels to the carotid artery.
After the catheter reaches the carotid artery, Dr. Siva injects dye, which highlights the blockage. For the next step, he inflates a balloon, a procedure called angioplasty. The balloon pushes the plaque against the artery wall, creating an opening where he inserts the stent. Stents are self-expanding mesh-like tubes that stay in the artery and hold it open. The procedure takes about two hours and occurs in the hospital. Bed rest is important for a time after carotid artery stenting, so you go home the next day.
If you need carotid artery stenting, call Sunshine Cardiovascular & Vein, or book an appointment online.
We are located in 5340 Gulf Drive, Suite 101, New Port Richey, FL 34652. Call us to book your appointment today.
Carotid artery blockage seen on ultrasound.
Carotid artery stenting.