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Carotid Artery Blockage

6 years ago I was tested and found to have 100% blockage of my left carotid artery.  In continual follow ups for my right carotid they have now found narrowing of the right artery.  Is surgery possible on the right carotid and what are the risks considering the blockage on the left.
11 Responses
550057 tn?1288453082
I have 100% blockage of my left carotid which happened late Nov. last year.  They have established there is definitely no blood flow going through it.  My right carotid has 25% stenosis but they won't do anything until it is more dangerous to leave it alone than to do something about it.  They claim they would do a bypass on the totally blocked artery first.  Please consult your neurosurgeon about this.
550057 tn?1288453082
Do you mind me asking if you had any TIA's associated with the 100% blockage?  As my carotid was closing over I had 3 TIA's and then 3 mos. later had one more.
1220761 tn?1266811732
100% ??? Shoot your doctor. You would be dead.
550057 tn?1288453082
Not true.  MRI's, CTScans and Ultrasound were all done several times to prove that the left carotid was 100% blocked. I had little by way of collateral veins on that side so my brain was kept going by the connector from right to left with a very high blood pressure..  In December/09 another round of these tests showed that the remaining right side in 6 months had gone from 25 to 70% blocked.  If it had been left alone I would likely not survive much longer.  I opted for a very dangerous stenting on the right side.  This was done on Feb. 18/10  in Winnipeg, Manitoba and I am here to tell you that it was successful and was able to return home late the following day.
976897 tn?1379167602
The left and right carotid arteries are linked together in the head more than once. So death would not occur from one being totally blocked.
976897 tn?1379167602
I believe the favoured method for opening a stenosed carotid artery is a procedure known as an endarterectomy.  This involves a surgeon making a small incision in the neck, opening the artery and removing the plaque. The other option is stenting, but this is far riskier. In several clinical trials,the 30-day incidence of heart attack, stroke, or death was significantly higher with stenting than with endarterectomy (9.6% vs. 3.9%).
Due to having a completely blocked left carotid artery, there would be no blood flowing to the brain during surgery when the artery is opened, so a shunt will probably be used, to keep blood flowing. This is basically a tube pushed into each end of the opening so the blood can flow through, leaving the surgeon to remove the plaque.
ed34--You are exactly correct.   I went through a left carotid endarterectomy while my right carotid was 100% occluded.  I had no TIAs nor did I have a stroke ( which frequently happens right when the artery closes completely.)
My right carotid was checked via Doppler ultrasound and was deemed 65-70% occluded.  The Dr opted to do the endarterectomy anyway.  He found that the carotid was actually about 85% occluded !  By the way, My Dr told me that he had a couple of patients who have BOTH carotids occluded, who are still walking around.  The vertebral arteries took over, and formed collaterals.
Also of note,  the carotids are the only arteries in the body that do NOT form collateral circulation.
Hope this clears up some readers' questions.
367994 tn?1304953593
" Do you mind me asking if you had any TIA's associated with the 100% blockage?  As my carotid was closing over I had 3 TIA's and then 3 mos. later had one more."

You have presented a very interesting medical condition and it is true the system can compensate. What were the results of the TIA's...although it is ischemia for a stroke are the symptoms for TIA's.
Avatar universal
Both of my husband's carotids are 100% closed. They have been for at least 6 years now. We went to the Mayo in Jacksonville, FL, they don't want to touch him. NO ANESTHESIA, no surgeries. They explained that he's getting vetebral blood flow. He also has PAD and they are sure he has some heart blockages, but won't do any invasive types of testing in any area. So, the long and short of it is that it is possible to live with both closed and all kinds of blockages. The human body is amazing. I'm sure my husband is a textbook case. He looks fine, nobody believes me when I tell them this. Just live every day....
Avatar universal
Well I am  kind of shocked at the responses. Kind of laissez faire . I suspected that I had a blockage and requested that test from my Cardiologist. Sure enough I have 50%. My internist says it's nothing to worry about. Really? how insensitive. Of course it is something to DO SOMETHING About..I have done  the research..no more fooling around with my blood pressure..no more cholesterol rich foods, good bye coffee that I love... uhn uhn ...not tempting the hand of fate..no one has mentioned their age.. well I am 61 and asked another cardiologist 15 years ago to check them,he said " your carotid artery is fine." you know what? am done. I only go to doctors and dentists for the diagnosis..then on to herbal cures.. I was pondering a nice fish sandwich, with fries and a coffee....think I will go make myself a nice bowl of oatmeal with flaxseed and go to sleep with a smile.  
976897 tn?1379167602
"short of it is that it is possible to live with both closed and all kinds of blockages"

I think it's not just a point of living, but the quality of living. My mother in law has a 60% blockage in just one carotid artery, but this was enough to make her pass out several times a day and end up crashing to the floor. Medication has seen to this problem for now, but it just goes to show how a single blockage can affect someone.
Avatar universal
You posted in 2010 that your husband was still getting around with both carotid arteries blocked.  It's now 2013, so I'm wondering how he's doing now.  Both my husband's carotid arteries have also been 100% blocked since 2009, however the Neurosurgeon that attempted a stent was not able to do so in time, and gave him a time limit.  I am VERY INTERESTED in how your husband is doing.  Mine is still getting around very slowly, since giving up his driver's license in 2011.  Would love to hear from someone in a similar situation.
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