Current studies suggest that patients whose carotid artery is more than 70% blocked by artherosclerosis may benefit from carotid endarterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove plaque from the artery.
Performed by skilled, experienced vascular surgeons, this procedure reduces the risk of a potentially disabling stroke. Selected patients might be candidates for carotid stent placement, a non-surgical approach to opening a blocked carotid artery. Performed by neuroradiologists in the Institute for neurosciences’ Special Procedures Suite, stent placement involves threading a spring-like device through a catheter into the artery, where it is deployed to hold the arterial walls in an open position.
Winthrop’s Institute for Neurosciences is fully equipped with the necessary diagnostic and monitoring devices to ensure that patients receive care in a safe, supervised environment. Pre-operative testing might include neuroimaging, transcranial Doppler ultrasound and arteriography to pinpoint the percentage of stenosis, or narrowing, of the vessel.
Patients recover in Winthrop’s Neurosciences Unit, an intensive care unit dedicated to neurological and neurosurgical patients.