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Anyone been through blockage of arteries?
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Anyone been through blockage of arteries?

Can anyone please tell me about your experiences with all types of stress tests for a women who is 71 with 70 to 80 percent blocked arteries (neck).  I also wish to know how the surgery went to eliminate the blockage, including recovery.  It is for my nervous Mom - thank you very much!!!  Denise
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592969_tn?1248329005
Are the doctors recommending surgery now to open up the neck arteries?  The surgery is risking and the surgeons have only so much time to do it.  Does she take medication to control the blockage buildup now?  
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I assume you are referring to the coretid arteries in the neck?.  Carotid endarterectomy is one of the most commonly performed vascular operations, and is a safe and long-lasting treatment.

The procedure is to either put to sleep or an anesthesiologist or surgeon can numb your neck area and keep pt awake so one can communicate with the surgeon during the operation. By staying awake, pt may help the physician monitor pt's brain reaction to the decreased blood supply. The surgeon then makes the incision on one side of your neck to expose your blocked carotid artery. Next, pt's surgeon temporarily clamps the carotid artery to stop blood from flowing through it. During the procedure, pt's brain receives blood from the carotid artery on the other side of your neck. Alternatively, surgeon can insert a bypass to detour the blood around the artery that is being repaired.

After sufficient blood supply to the brain is verified,  the surgeon clamps the carotid artery, he or she makes an incision directly into the blocked section. Next, the surgeon peels out the plaque deposit by removing the inner lining of the diseased section of the artery containing the plaque. After removing the plaque, your surgeon stitches your artery, removes the clamps or the bypass, and stops any bleeding. He or she then closes the neck incision and the procedure is complete. The procedure takes about 2 hours to perform but may seem slightly longer depending upon the anesthetic and preparation time.

Recovery: After surgery, your mother may stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days. During this time, a physician will monitor your progress. Initially, during the  recovery, your mother will receive fluid and nutrients through an intravenous (IV) catheter. Because the neck incision is so small, there may not be any significant pain.

After your mother goes home, the physician may recommend to avoid driving and limit physical activities for several weeks. Your mother can usually begin normal activities again several weeks after the operation.

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Tuesday was the first time I used this forum so I'm not sure of the in and outs of it.  I was very happy to get your response.  I spoke with my mother today.  She lives in Florida and I in New York.  She had 20-30% blockage on the right side about 5-6 years ago.  She has been taking Asprin and Niacin since.  It appears that the left side is okay as the doctors have not given her a percent of blockage for that side.  She is now 70 to 80% on the right.  I was wondering how well Angioprim, oral Chelations or things like that work.  I imagine that she is too far along for this?  or maybe not if she has other areas that have minimal blockage?  My mom's father and his brother's died in their 50's from heart attacks and my Mom's mother had blockage in her legs.  My mom's brothers have blockage in their legs as well.  I should be a little more concerned for myself as I am now having signs of high blood pressure and had a heart attack at age 41 (46 now).  It appeared that everything was fine and all the tests came out good so my guess is stress.  It would be nice to know what preventatives, if any, can be taking to prevent this blockage in the future - or is it a natural aging thing?  Anyways, my mom is worried about going through the stress test.  She will be given something to make her heart beat faster.  She is worried about having a heart attack during the test.  My older sister put that thought in her mind.  She is also worried about some of the plaque breaking off during surgery and causing problems as one doctor told her husband this.  He has 80-90% in his left side of his neck.  Can you give me some information regarding this so I may ease my mother.  She, as well as myself, suffer from anxiety and depression and can let things get the best of us.  I don't know how long she can put this surgery off until something serious happens?  I don't suppose you would know either?  Any information would help and I very much appreciate you time!!!!!  Denise
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Thank you so much for you response!  My mother has been taking Asprin and Niacin for about 5-6 years now.  They informed her last year that the surgery was needed.  They also informed her husband as well as he has 90% blockage on his left side of his neck but he is refusing to get anything done as he is being treated for prostate cancer right now.  With that, my mother told them she would get back to them, but is worried about the stress test currently.  Any information would be great!!!  Thank you again - Denise
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HI Denise, I had this surgery done on December 23. My left side carotid artery was 90% blocked and my right side artery is 20% blocked. I had a quadruple heart bypass in May of 2008 and the doctors said that I had cardiovascular disease and that is why my carotids were blocked. I did not have a heart attack, I did have 4 mini strokes but they caused no damage. Prior to the operation the doctor told me of the risks. having a stroke during the procedure, not enough oxygen getting to the brain because of the blood not getting there and nerve damage, in fact they have a couple of specialists who just monitor the nerves and blood flow. I did not have a stroke during the procedure, but there was nerve damage. The nerve going to my vocal chords was damaged resulting in a loss of voice, about 70% and very hoarse, they said it should come back some but not complete restoration. I get sensations going from my ear through the top of my head, annoying but nothing major, it's not there all the time, mostly when I exert myself. The incision is about 5 inches long and the area where they cut is numb, again nothing to worry about. The left artery is the one they concern themselves with as this is the main one, the doc said that even if the right one gets almost all blocked they would probably not do anything as the smaller blood vessels compensate on that side. I recovered in about 3 weeks, sometimes I do get a little tired. I am 65. Your mom should have this taken care of as a stroke is a much much higher risk than the surgery. I too suffer from anxiety and panic (controlled with medicine). I am now on a full dose aspirin and 75mg's of plavix, and always will be. I also take neurontin to try to compensate for the lost voice, it works somewhat but only time will tell. Denis
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Hi, I had carotid endardertectomy for more than 70% blockage on left carotid on June 17, 2008.  I had no problems with surgery and am feeling fine.  Will go in in June to see if any reblockage has occurred.  Sometimes it can happen from scar tissue.  Oh, and yes, I had a mini stroke 4/28/08.  
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not sure what stress test you want to know about , but i had the stress/nuclear test done in jan, where you walk a treadmill but they would not let me walk my bp was way to high, they gave me the shot and it put my heart rate at 171 really fast , they than gave me another shot to bring it back down because mine would not drop down like it should had , but they are very good at knowing what to do, its a really easy test. i hope your mom has the surgery and pray all goes well.
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