Carotid Artery Stenosis (CAS)
Carotid arteries are located on each side of the neck and carry oxygenated blood to the brain. These arteries can become obstructed by cholesterol plaques similar to coronary arteries in coronary artery disease. Over time plaque can build up, narrowing the artery and this can lead to a stroke. To avoid this, patients are routinely screened with an ultrasound or similar test to evaluate the amount of plaque within their carotid arteries. If significant narrowing (stenosis) exists, surgery is often recommended to remove this plaque and repair the artery to lessen your risk of subsequent stroke. During the surgery, the surgeon will make a small incision along the side of the neck. This allows visualization and exposure of the artery. The artery is then opened, the plaque is removed, and the artery is repaired often utilizing a vascular patch. This type of surgery is called a carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Most patients may expect to go home the day after surgery with minimal restrictions.
Pre-op routine: Before your surgery, your surgeon will see and examine you as well as review all pertinent labs, imaging, and tests. You will have ample opportunity to ask questions and gain a full understanding of the nature of your disease process and the surgery to treat that disease. You will have lab tests, lung function tests, EKG, and chest x-ray prior to surgery. Your preoperative instructions will be provided to you in office. Follow them, and call the office with any needs or concerns.