Get to learn more about carotid artery disease, its symptoms, and various treatment options available

by John
Cardiovascular Conditions

Cardiovascular conditions are common and can result in various symptoms that might affect your day-to-day living. Carotid artery disease is among the cardiovascular conditions that increase your risk of developing stroke. Therefore, if you begin experiencing some of the symptoms of carotid artery disease as named below, you should seek medical attention immediately for early diagnosis and treatment. Kristen Forsythe FNP offers several therapies to treat and manage carotid artery disease, thus reducing the associated risks. Below is all you should know about carotid artery disease.

What is carotid artery disease?

Carotid artery disease is a medical condition that usually forms when plagues block or clog the arteries that supply blood to your brain. Once these arteries are clogged, they prevent blood and oxygen supply to the brain from leading to stroke. It is essential to note that once your carotid arteries are narrowed by approximately seventy per cent or more, you are at a greater risk of developing stroke. Mostly when there is a reduced oxygen supply to your brain, the brain cells begin to die within a few minutes. A stroke is a severe medical condition that requires emergency care.

Does carotid artery disease cause any symptoms?

This medical condition usually develops gradually, and you might not know your arteries are blocked until you suffer from a transient ischemic attack, stroke, or TIA. TIA occurs when there is a temporary shortage of blood flow to the brain. The signs and symptoms of TIA include dizziness, confusion, weakness, blurred vision, numbness, and temporary loss of coordination. Generally, only one person in three who suffer from TIA end up having a full-blown stroke every year. Therefore regular examination can help detect it early before developing complications.

How is carotid artery disease treated?

Generally, the treatment of carotid artery disease varies depending on the severity of the disease. The health care provider may recommend either minimally-invasive procedures, medical management, or surgery. Medical management may involve guidance on lifestyle modifications like physical activity and dietary changes, quitting smoking, and weight management. Medications can also be offered to help lower high cholesterol levels or blood pressure. Other treatments include:

1.  Open surgical techniques

During this procedure, the doctor makes a tiny incision on your neck to get access to your carotid artery. Afterwards, the doctor removes the plaque and closes the artery using a patch.

2.  Minimally invasive therapies

The surgeon places a stent inside your carotid artery in this therapy and requires no incision.

What is transCarotid artery revascularization (TCAR)?

People who qualify for TCAR procedures are not fit for stenting or open surgical procedures due to personal health risks. It is a minimally-invasive procedure that results in less nerve damage, reduces your risk of developing a heart attack and stroke, and results in less nerve damage. During this procedure, the physician makes tiny incisions above your clavicles and then punctures into your carotid artery, where a small tube is placed. The role of the tube is to connect to the NPS or transcarotid neuro-protection system.

The NPS directs blood flow temporarily away from your brain and captures any plague debris that has clogged your carotid artery, preventing it from getting to the brain and leading to stroke. Blood is filtered and a stent is placed on your artery allowing normal blood flow.

Carotid artery disease is a quite dangerous cardiovascular condition that can cause stroke and eventually death. Therefore if you begin experiencing any symptoms named above and require immediate care, call or consult Vascular Specialists and get started.

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