Carotid_Artery by liwenting


									                    Carotid Artery
Carotid artery stenosis, also called carotid artery disease,     Your doctor may hear an abnormal sound over your
is a narrowing of the carotid arteries. This narrowing           carotid artery when listening with a stethoscope. This is
may lead to partial or complete blockage of one or both          called a bruit (broo’-ie). The doctor may order a carotid
of the carotid arteries, causing a stroke. A stroke is a life-   artery ultrasound. This non-invasive diagnostic test takes
threatening event in which the brain’s vital supply of           images of the blood flowing through the arteries and it
blood and oxygen is disrupted.                                   can detect narrowing from plaque.

Causes of Carotid Artery Stenosis                                Carotid Angiography
Carotid artery stenosis occurs due to narrowing of the           If needed, an angiography can be performed to diagnose
arteries from a gradual build up of plaque. Plaque               carotid artery stenosis. This test feeds a catheter from your
forms when cholesterol, fat and other substances line            groin, through your aorta and into the carotid artery. An
the inside walls of the arteries and build up over time          injectable contrast dye is then inserted into the artery
causing a blockage.                                              while images of the area are captured. This dye allows
                                                                 your doctor to view the arteries in a more enhanced field
Symptoms                                                         of view to detect any stenosis or narrowing.
You may have some of the following symptoms or you
may not have any symptoms at all.                                Treating Carotid Artery Stenosis
  •   Light-headedness
                                                                 For a blockage of less than 50% of the artery, your doctor
  •   Blurred vision
                                                                 may prescribe anti-clotting medications to reduce the risk
  •   Dizziness
                                                                 of stroke.
  •   Weakness on one side of body
  •   Headache                                                   Carotid Endarterectomy
                                                                 This is an open surgical procedure commonly performed
Diagnosing Carotid Artery Stenosis                               by a neurosurgeon or vascular surgeon. A small incision
If you are experiencing one or more of the above
                                                                 is made just below the jaw-line to expose the carotid
symptoms, it is important to seek medical advice
                                                                 artery at the site of the stenosis. After placing a temporary
immediately for an evaluation. Because some people
                                                                 shunt tube to redirect the blood flowing through the
may not have symptoms at all, it is important to
                                                                 affected artery, the surgeon removes the plaque that is
schedule regular physician appointments with
                                                                 causing the carotid artery to be narrow or blocked.
your doctor.
                                                                 Carotid Angioplasty/Stenting
                                                                 A neuroradiologist uses diagnostic imaging to insert a
                                                                 special catheter through one of the main arteries in the
                                                                 groin, through your aorta (the major blood vessel of your
                                                                 heart) to the blockage in the carotid artery. The doctor
                                                                 then attempts to clear the blockage and open the artery
                                                                 up. This is an alternative to open surgery for patients
                                                                 who are elderly or who have other health issues like
                                                                 heart or lung disease, carotid disease on both sides, prior
                                                                 radiation therapy to the neck or prior carotid surgery.


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