Posted By margot on June 16, 1999 at 12:31:41
My father-in-law has a 100% occluded carotid artery. He is 77 and in otherwise good health, although has had several "episodes" (light-headed, and some brief aphasia) one of which was probably a small stroke. He has been told that since the blockage is 100% it is standard procedure to NOT do the surgery. Should he get a second opinion?
Posted By CCF CARDIO MD - CRC on June 16, 1999 at 16:25:09
Thank you for your question. You are correct that surgery is not recommended for 100% occluded arteries. The rational is that it is already closed and the area it used to supply has new blood flow from elsewhere.
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This may seem to be a very stupid question but after having seen so many inquiries from people with 100% occlusions and 95% occlusions, I wonder why the doctors don't let people just go on to the 100% without doing surgey. I underwent an endartarectomy which put in a gortex graft from aorta to carotid bifurcation. Within a month or so it was completely occluded. There is retrograde flow from the external into the internal. Who knows where the external flow is coming from.
I am glad I had the surgery because a lot of other things that the docs didn't think had to do with the carotids did clear up but I wonder why surgery is recommended when the natural progression is to 100% and the docs say that is fine.
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