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Carotid artery surgery - discharge

Carotid endarterectomy - discharge; CEA - discharge; Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty - carotid artery - discharge; PTA - carotid artery - discharge

The carotid artery brings needed blood to your brain and face. You have one of these arteries on each side of your neck. Carotid artery surgery is a procedure to restore proper blood flow to the brain.

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When You're in the Hospital

You had carotid artery surgery to restore proper blood flow to your brain. Your surgeon made an incision (cut) in your neck over your carotid artery. A tube was put in place for blood to flow around the blocked area during your surgery. Your surgeon opened your carotid artery and carefully removed plaque from inside it. The surgeon may have placed a stent (a tiny wire mesh tube) in this area to help keep the artery open. Your artery was closed with stitches after the plaque was removed. The skin incision was closed with surgical tape.

During your surgery, your heart and brain activity were monitored closely.

What to Expect at Home

You should be able to do most of your normal activities within 3 to 4 weeks. You may have a slight neck ache for about 2 weeks.

You may start doing everyday activities as soon as you feel up to it. You may need help with meals, taking care of the house, and shopping at first.

DO NOT drive until your incision is healed, and you can turn your head without discomfort.

You may have some numbness along your jaw and near your earlobe. This is from the incision. Most of the time, this goes away in 6 to 12 months.

Self-care

Having carotid artery surgery does not cure the cause of the blockage in your arteries. Your arteries may become narrow again. To prevent this:

When to Call the Doctor

Call your health care provider if:

Related Information

Stroke
Transient ischemic attack
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Risks of tobacco
Carotid artery surgery
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Carotid artery disease
Recovering after stroke
Stent
Aspirin and heart disease
Cholesterol and lifestyle
Antiplatelet drugs - P2Y12 inhibitors
Controlling your high blood pressure
Cholesterol - drug treatment
Angioplasty and stent placement - carotid artery - discharge

References

Brott TG, Halperin JL, Abbara S, et al. 2011 ASA/ACCF/AHA/AANN/AANS/ACR/ASNR/CNS/SAIP/SCAI/SIR/SNIS/SVM/SVS guideline on the management of patients with extracranial carotid and vertebral artery disease: executive summary: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines, and the American Stroke Association, American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, American College of Radiology, American Society of Neuroradiology, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Society of Atherosclerosis Imaging and Prevention, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Interventional Radiology, Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery, Society for Vascular Medicine, and Society for Vascular Surgery. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;57(8):1002-1044. PMID: 21288680 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21288680.

Cheng CC, Cheema F, Fankhauser G, Silva MB. Peripheral arterial disease. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 62.

Kinlay S, Bhatt DL. Treatment of noncoronary obstructive vascular disease. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann, DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 66.

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Review Date: 3/24/2019  

Reviewed By: Alireza Minagar, MD, MBA, Professor, Department of Neurology, LSU Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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