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.
You should be able to do most of your normal activities within 3 - 4 weeks. You may have a slight neck ache for about 2 weeks.
You may start doing everyday activities as soon as you are able. 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 - 12 months.
Having carotid artery surgery does not cure the cause of the blockage in your arteries. Your arteries may become narrow again. To prevent this:
Call your doctor or nurse if:
Carotid endarterectomy - discharge; CEA - discharge; Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty - carotid artery - discharge; PTA - carotid artery - discharge
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. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2011;124:e54-e130.
Eisenhauer AC, White CJ, Bhatt DL. Endovascular treatment of noncoronary obstructive vascular disease. In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 63.
Goldstein LB, Silva MB Jr., Choi L, Cheng CC. Peripheral arterial occlusive disease. In: Townsend CM Jr., Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 63.
Updated by: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, Washington Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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