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Good day everyone. Every surgery has certain risk that everyone needs to know. I am pretty sure that any doctor will inform you and tell you about certain complications that can happen during the surgery. Well, my colleague Charlie told me that he needs to have carotid endarterectomy surgery and that he needs to have it in 10 days. He is extremely scared because he is aware that some complications can happen. So I came here to post another topic and see if I can help him. Can you tell me what are possible complication of Carotid Endarterectomy surgery? Tnx

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Good day Aurora.

First, you need to know what this procedure is. Actually, carotid artery stenting is a procedure in which a vascular surgeon inserts a slender, metal-mesh tube, called a stent, which expands inside your carotid artery to increase blood flow in areas blocked by plaque. Carotid artery disease is a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the carotid arteries. You have two common carotid arteries on the two different places -  one on each side of your neck. They each divide into internal and external carotid arteries. One of the potential complication is bleeding.

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Good day there. Yes, thank you so much for explaining me this. When I remember that I haven't ask you about this, what this procedure actually is, it was too late and I couldn't come back in here to edit my post. And it was silly to start another topic right? So, thank you, I believe that you think exactly like I do. Now, let's go back to the complications. When you are saying that bleeding is one of the complications, what this means? Bleeding before or after the surgery? And is this surgery that important? Thanks for information. Enjoy. 

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Hey. You are welcome. When I say bleeding I mean after the surgery. But that is normal and it is not that dangerous. At least, it shouldn’t be. Also, the risk of having this can increase the risk of having the stroke and you should notice warring sings that can show this. Those warring sings are trouble speaking, weakness, etc. If those symptoms happens to you, you should go to the hospital but you should also remember that you should never drive yourself alone at the hospital.Ongoing medical care is also very important, but your doctor can tell you more about this. 

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Hi Aurora,

Let me tell you about the most dangerous complications, the ones that people actually want to know the most but they are too scared to ask.

As with all types of surgery, there are risks associated with having a carotid endarterectomy. There are two main risks and these are:

  • stroke – the risk of stroke is around 2%, although this may be higher in people who had a stroke before the operation (ask your friend if she had stroke before)
  • death – there's a less than 1% risk of death, which can occur as a result of complications such as a stroke or heart attack.

 

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Well, as well as stroke and death, there's a small chance of developing other complications after having a carotid endarterectomy. These include:

  • pain or numbness at the wound site – this is temporary and can be treated with painkillers
  • bleeding at the site of the wound
  • wound infection – the wound where the incision was made can get infected; this affects less than 1% of people and is easily treated with antibiotics
  • nerve damage –this can cause a hoarse voice and weakness or numbness on the side of your face; it affects around 4% of people, but is usually temporary and disappears within a month
  • narrowing of the carotid artery again – this is called restenosis; further surgery is required in about 2-4% of people.
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Hi Aurora,

The people above me already explained everything about the condition itself, about the surgery and about the risks that the procedure carries, but your friend should have really asked his doctor about possible complications because these depend on his medical history, I believe that Bee something something little about it.

Also, all of these complications happen in extremely rare occasions so I would worry much about this if I were at your friend's place. As long as an experienced surgeon is doing the operation, I would have no doubts that everything is going to be fine. It is important to stay positive anyway.
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There are some factors actually that would put the person at increased risk of having complications during this surgery. One of the factors is actually age, it is one of those factors which you can't do anything about it. The older you get, the bigger the chances of complications occurring.

Another risk factor is smoking. Cigarettes should definitely be forbidden to people who are having heart problems. Other risk factors are previously having a stroke or transient ischaemic attack, whether you have a blockage in your other carotid artery as well and whether you have other health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension) or diabetes.

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