Carotid artery Stenting (CAS) is a non surgical catheter based procedure that is performed, in order to prevent stroke by opening the narrowed carotid arteries.
CAS procedure is quite similar to that of coronary angioplasty. A tiny metal mesh tube is fitted into the carotid artery. This is done in order to increase the blood flow that was earlier blocked by plaques.
In order to place the stent into the artery, the surgeon first removes the angioplasty balloon catheter and then places a new catheter. The stent-carrying catheter is then advanced through the artery to the blocked area. This stent is then inserted through a balloon tipped catheter. Once the balloon is guided to the blocked artery, it is then overblown and pushed against the plaque. This in turn results in the flattening of the balloon and thereby reopening of the artery. Once the procedure is complete, the stent prevents the closing of the artery through a plaque. These stents are left in place permanently, and because they are made from stainless steel or metal alloys, they will not even corrode.
The entire procedure will take about one hour. The person undergoing this procedure is usually awake and is likely to feel a little pain. On completion of the procedure, the patient is kept under observation for the next twenty four hours. This is done in order to avoid any complications.
Carotid artery stenting is a very effective procedure which helps to prevent heart attack, stroke or any other problem. The main purpose of performing carotid artery stenting is to restore adequate flow of blood. This procedure is excellent for people who cannot undergo carotid endarterectomy surgery.
Complexity Involved in Carotid Artery Stenting
There are a certain number of issues or risks involved in CAS. They are:
Unexpected shutting down of the artery
Reduces heart rate
Reduced blood pressure
There is a possibility of clots to form within the stent
Risks of developing a stroke
Hyperperfusion may also occur
The procedure seems to be quite easy and it has gained popularity for the fact that it is less invasive. However, though it is less invasive, in some cases it could be even riskier than the traditional surgery.
Carotid artery surgery procedure is also expensive. The stents used in this procedure alone cost around $3000 to $4000.
To conclude, carotid artery stenting is usually considered to be a safe and a less invasive procedure when compared to other traditional methods. It has also showed significant benefits especially in case of high risk patients. However, you need to consult your physician in order to make sure that you are actually ready for the procedure. Undoubtedly, when it comes to blocked carotid arteries, carotid artery stenting is the most apt treatment.