Posted By CCF CARDIO MD - DLB on September 02, 1998 at 11:30:17:
In Reply to: Carotid Artery Blockage posted by Jean on September 02, 1998 at 10:16:43:
my mom is 73 years old. she has a history of heart problems:
- heart attack around age 50,
- a cleaning out of one carotid artery when she was 61
- tripple bypass at 68, etc.
she smoked probably 85 percent of the time from age 12 til age 68.
her diet is very poor.
her carotid arteries were tested about three years ago. the blockage
was at 80 and 85. her family doctor and local surgeon did not want
to operate (the local surgeon recently operated on my dad's carotid
arteries - 6 weeks apart - he is 78. for both operations, he was
released from the hospital within 48 hours after the surgery. both
operations were a hugh success. my dad does watch what he eats, and
he walks every dat. this is the same surgeon that did not want to
operate on my mom.
a few weeks ago, the arteries were tested again - 90 and 95 percent
blocked. her family doctor has said she must have surgery. he has
already sent her records to emery in atlanta (they live 2.5 hours
north east of atlanta, GA). she is scheduled to go to emery next
wednesday (sept 9th), and have an ultra sound before noon, then
meet with the doctor after lunch. although i live 5 hours away, im
flying to atlanta to meet with her and the doctor. my folks arent that
good at relaying information.
im not sure what to expect or what kind of questions to ask now or
when i meet with the doctors. what kids of surgery are available?
what are the options? is there any new type of surgery that she might
be a good candidate for? i realize that i do not have sufficient info
with me for anyone to make that kind of call over the net. if you could
also direct me to some online articles, i would greatly appreciate it.
if there is anything that i could review at the library that would
be in a non-medical university library, i would also appreciate it.
i have access to the NC State University library.
thank you for your time
With the degree of blockage you describe, surgery is usually recommended to prevent a stroke. Surgery itself is associated with a risk of stroke, so you would want to be evaluated at a center that is experienced in treating carotid artery disease. In addition, there is a newer method to treat carotid artery blockages called carotid artery stenting. This is similar to a cardiac catheterization and angioplasty from the patient's perspective. Specific considerations in your mother's case should include whether she has had any progression of her coronary artery disease that would place her at higher risk of surgery. The previous carotid surgery also makes things more difficult this time. The American Heart Association web site has info on carotid artery disease: www.amheart.org.
I hope this is useful. Feel free to write back. I wish you the best of luck.
If you would like to set up an appointment with one of our cardiologists here at the Cleveland Clinic please feel free to call 1-800-CCF-CARE.
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