Carotid Plaque Surgery
Cholesterol layering out along the walls of the artery in the neck that brings the majority of blood to the brain represents a serious stroke risk. Often, patients come to us having had transient ischemic attack - a kind of warning but resolving stoke. Patients can experience facial droop or weakness of half of their body or trouble with speech or vision that resolves but can recur.
If a patient even has one of these events, often their primary care doctor or an ER physician will order imaging of the carotid arteries in the neck. If a significant cholesterol plaque is discovered in the artery, this may require surgery to open the artery and remove it. This plaque often is showering the brain with small emboli or "pebbles" of cholesterol that break off into the passing blood stream causing mini strokes and sometimes devastating strokes where the symptoms are both permanent and life threatening. Surgery is a very precise and meticulous solution that has proven the test of time in preventing the cholesterol plaque from damaging the brain. With an incision in the neck, we isolate the artery and protect the brain but temporarily clamping it above and below the plaque and then incising the wall of the artery to then scrape the artery clean and sew it closed. This can be a life saving procedure as stroke from these cholesterol plaques is often a serious life altering event.
Contact Midwest Spine & Brain Institute at 1.800.353.7720 to schedule your appointment.