A stroke, or brain attack, is the sudden death of brain cells when blood flow to the brain is impaired, oxygen and important nutrients cannot be delivered because of a blockage or rupture of an artery to the brain.
Approximately one-third of all strokes are caused when the carotid arteries, the two main blood vessels in the neck, become clogged and restrict blood flow to the brain.
Amaurosis Fugax – is a form of TIA that only affects a patient’s vision. The vision loss can be temporary, or a graying out of the vision in just one eye. Again, carotid artery disease is just one very important possible cause of TIAs, Amaurosis Fugax and RIND.
- Carotid Artery – is the major blood vessel located in the front of the neck carrying blood from the heart to the brain. People with plaque buildups in the carotid are at higher risk for stroke or brain attack, when the brain begins to die because it isn’t getting enough oxygen.
- Carotid endarterectomy is an effective surgical procedure that can remove the dangerous plaque to reduce the risk of stroke.
- Carotid Artery Stenting (CAS) – is a new procedure and the vascular surgeons at Oklahoma Heart Hospital are the first in Oklahoma to perform regular stent procedures on our patients with blockages in the Carotid Artery.
- Carotid artery stenting is a stroke prevention therapy that is rapidly emerging as an alternative to surgery, especially for high-risk patients.
- The procedure is minimally invasive and performed under local anesthesia.
- Much like angioplasty and stenting of the vessels of the heart, vascular surgeons make a small incision in the groin area and deploy a stent, a tiny scaffold-like cylinder, in the narrowed carotid artery to keep it from reblocking.
- Patients who undergo CAS are lightly sedated and the procedure typically requires only a one-day hospital stay.
- The use of blood thinners is required for about three months after the procedure.
- More traditional Carotid surgery requires general anesthesia and a two- to three-day hospital stay.
- Currently Medicare doesn’t cover this procedure for asymptomatic patients, however, the Vascular Institute is able to cover the procedure for most patients who enroll in a federally funded study into the use of the procedure.
- Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) - A TIA is a neurologic deficit or mini-stroke that causes temporary weakness, numbness or difficulty speaking. The effects last less than 24 hours and patient’s typically recover completely from a TIA. It is estimated that as many as 75 percent of people who suffer a stroke related to carotid artery disease have a warning in the form of a transient ischemic attack (TIA), prior to the stroke.
- Reversible Ischemic Neurologic Deficit (RIND) – RIND is another lesser form of stroke where the patients experiences weakness, numbness or difficulty speaking longer than 24 hours but still fully recovers.
Transient Ischemic Attack