A Carotid endarterectomy is one of the most common surgeries used by healthcare advisors to cure narrowed arteries. This surgery aids in improving blood circulation and relieves signs of PAD (peripheral artery disease). This surgery is mainly suggested for PAD patients whose lifestyle changes and medicine aren’t enough to treat.
The process of endarterectomy involves the extraction of a fatty substance known as the plaques from the patient’s arteries. Furthermore, this surgery is widely used by surgeons to open up the blocked or narrowed blood vessels of patients.
The carotid endarterectomy is the process of curing CAD (carotid artery disease) in which plaque is removed from the carotids. This disorder occurs when waxy, fatty deposits develop in carotid arteries. Moreover, the carotid arteries are the blood vessels on each side of the individual’s neck.
Carotids Endarterectomy Surgery
This type of surgery is mainly recommended for patients with severe carotid artery narrowing. The healthcare advisor will analyze the patient’s condition and determine whether to recommend a carotid endarterectomy or not. In this process, the surgeon will thread a catheter (a long hollow tube) with a tiny balloon linked through a blood vessel in the individual’s neck to the narrowed artery.
The balloon is then inflated to widen the artery. Moreover, a stent (metal mesh tube) is mainly injected to decrease the chances of the artery re-narrowing.
1. Before Carotid Endarterectomy:
- The healthcare provider is most likely suggesting an endarterectomy after examining the patient’s PAD symptoms. However, the consultant may conduct various tests (a few days before the surgery) to confirm that the patient can safely undergo surgery. Furthermore, it is vital to inform the healthcare provider whether the patient is on any medicine, as the doctor may ask the patient to stop consuming some medicine for a period.
2. During Carotid Endarterectomy:
- The healthcare provider will put the patient on anesthesia, or give medicine to block pain in certain body parts, so the patient does not sense anything during the surgery.
- The vascular surgeon will make tiny incisions at the site of blocked arteries.
- A shunt or tube near the patient’s artery will keep the blood streaming during the procedure.
- The surgeon will make other cuts to open the narrowed artery and extract the plaque from the artery walls with a tool known as the endarterectomy spatula.
- The surgeon will then stitch the artery back up and take the shunt.
- Moreover, the surgeon may utilize a patch to aid in closing the patient’s artery and boost healing. The patches can be synthetic or made from the patient’s veins.
- The endarterectomy procedure typically takes two to three hours.
3. After Endarterectomy:
- An endarterectomy surgery aims to restore the blood streaming, relieve pain or other signs of PAD, and stop severe complications.
- The patient is most likely to return to normal activities within a few weeks of the patient’s surgery. He can ask the healthcare advisor for any recommendation or guidance that can aid in the recovery process.
- The patient may not experience any side effects from surgery.
- In most cases, the patient can encounter numbness surrounding the incision area.
- After the surgery, the healthcare provider will guide the patient about precautionary measures to prevent the reformation of more plaque in the arteries.
Risk Factors of an Endarterectomy
Usually, an endarterectomy surgery doesn’t have risks compared to other surgeries. However, the risk factors mainly depend upon the patient’s medical condition. The individual can ask the healthcare provider about any concerns or risks in his case.
In some cases, the operated artery has a higher chance of getting blocked again. Therefore, discussing with the healthcare provider about after-surgery treatment and lifestyle changes is vital to reduce any risk factors associated with endarterectomy.
The following techniques can help an individual to keep all of the blood vessels healthy;
- Workout regularly
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Limit the use of unhealthy or saturated fats, cholesterol, or salt
- Avoid smoking
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure
- Limit the consumption of alcohol
When is it necessary to reach out to the healthcare advisor?
It is vital to contact the healthcare advisor if an individual experiences any of the following symptoms, which can lead to sudden blockage of the individual’s femoral artery;
- Experiences numbness in their leg.
- Unable to move their leg.
- Feel cold legs.
- Experiences sudden, severe discomfort.
- Legs appear to be blue or pale.