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Posted by Gerald on July 28, 1999 at 10:27:23
I won't get the medical terms correct so I won't try but after several test
that Dr told me that my right Carotid artery is 100% blocked and the left one is something less than 50% blocked.  I had asked about cleaning out the blocked artery and the Dr explained that when the artery becomes 100 % blocked there is nothing that can be done.  I'm surprised and wonder why that would be true.  The other thing I'm wondering about what my risk factors for having a stroke or heart attack.  Two and a half years ago I retired from a company after 30 years and went to work in another state for another company.  I had tests conducted then and my carotid arteries were fine.  I'm not sure how all this occurred in such a short period of time. We're chaning blood pressure medicine and increase exercise and other positive things but I'm concerned about the prognosis.
Any response would be appreciated and I understanding that I haven't give you much to go on and your response will have to be generic but that's ok I'm looking for some stats.
Thanks much.

Posted by CCF CARDIO MD - DLB on July 29, 1999 at 15:08:01
Dear Gerald
If the carotid is 100% blocked, it cannot get any worse. Thus, there is usually no need to treat it surgically. Any damage that could be done has already occurred, so exposing you to the risk of surgery would not be advisable. Carotid artery disease is a strong predictor of future heart attacks and strokes. In addition to blood pressure control, control of cholesterol levels will be important. Unless you have bleeding problems, an aspirin every day would probably also be appropriate.
I hope this has been useful. I wish you the best of luck. Feel free to write back.
Information provided here is for general purposes only. Specific questions should be addressed to your own doctor. If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter. The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.

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