Carotid Artery Stenting


The carotid arteries on the sides of the neck supply blood to the brain. When the blood flow in these arteries become blocked by plaque, a vascular surgeon can insert a stent (thin tube) inside the artery to reopen the blood supply.

A build-up of plaque on the walls of our arteries is caused by a hardening/narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) as we age, along with other medical conditions and health status. 

Angioplasty is usually performed prior to carotid artery stenting. Using a catheter, an angioplasty balloon is delivered to the affected area and inflated to open the area up and allow placement of the carotid stent. The stent is expanded and remains permanently in the carotid artery.

Although carotid stenting opens your artery and keeps blood flowing, it does not stop plaque from building up again. To prevent hardening of the arteries from re-occurring, you should consider the following lifestyle changes:

  • Change to a healthy diet

  • Exercise regularly

  • If recommended by your physician, begin a walking program

  • Quit smoking

  • Reach and maintain an ideal body weight

  • Take all prescribed medications as instructed

Risks involved with carotid artery stenting are dependent on your overall health. One of the most serious complications with this procedure is an embolism or blockage by a clot or other debris and can cause a stroke. Other complications include re-blockage of the carotid artery (restenosis) and a clot forming along the stent or a tear in the artery wall. If a patient has a kidney condition, the dye used for the angiogram can sometimes cause damage to the kidneys.

Conditions that preclude carotid stenting:

  • Cardiac concerns, such as an irregular heartbeat

  • Full carotid artery blockage

  • Recent bleeding in the brain

  • Short life expectancy

Additional Risk Factors

  • Age

  • Allergies

  • Extensive atherosclerosis

  • High blood pressure

  • Kidney issues

Carotid stenting is a less invasive procedure and has a shorter recovery time than a carotid endarterectomy. Depending on your post-surgery recovery you may or may not require an overnight stay in the hospital. A ride home should be arranged once you know when you will be released. 

During your home recovery, contact Vascular Tyler should you experience:

  • Blood or fluid from the incision site

  • Chest pain

  • Fever

  • Redness or swelling near the incision


The Patient Experience

Dr. Robbins looked at my imaging and made an appointment that same day for me to come in. At Vascular Tyler, it’s just like a family environment every time I come in here. If I have to go the doctor’s (office), this is where I want to go.
L. Cunningham, Patient
We don’t want to spend a whole lot of time with rehabilitation or in some sort of medical facility, so it was great discovering that there’s only little or no downtime. It was a matter of hours instead of days or weeks.
B. Finch, Patient
I had excruciating pain and was told I needed a knee replacement. But Dr. Robbins said I just need vascular surgery. They gave me relief from my pain, and they’re kind and interested in you as a patient and a person. This is the place to come.
M. Finch, Patient

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