3 Signs You May Need Carotid Artery Surgery

Blog Post
By South Valley Vascular
July 19, 2021

3 Signs You May Need Carotid Artery Surgery

If you have carotid artery disease, you may be wondering what the potential solutions are and if you will eventually need surgery.  Maybe you don’t have the disease but are at high risk for having a stroke.  Do you need carotid artery surgery?  There are three main reasons that a doctor would recommend you have this procedure done.  Here are the carotid artery symptoms that could signal your need for surgery.

You Have Severe Blockage in Your Carotid Artery

The carotid arteries are located on the sides of your neck.  They provide blood flow to the brain.  If one of these arteries get blocked, the results could be disastrous.  A lack of blood flow to the brain is the main cause of strokes, which can result in permanent brain damage or even death.  This is why it is important to prevent or eliminate any blockage in the carotid arteries.  Risk factors for severe blockage include:

· Lack of physical exercise

· Diabetes

· Family history of atherosclerosis

· High blood pressure

· Age

· Obesity

· Smoking

· Unhealthy cholesterol levels

· Unhealthy diet

· Metabolic syndrome

Atherosclerosis, a condition in which the arteries harden, causes the arteries to narrow and sometimes become blocked.  If you have this disease, it is likely that you will need carotid artery surgery in order to make sure you don’t develop a blockage and have a stroke. 

You Have Had a TIA

TIA stands for transient ischemic attack.  This is basically a warning stroke.  You may have no carotid artery symptoms before a TIA.  It is generally the first sign of carotid artery disease.  While a TIA is not as severe as a stroke, it is still cause for concern.  If you experience any of these symptoms, get medical help as soon as possible.

· Dizziness or loss of balance

· A sudden, severe headache without a known cause

· The inability to move one of your limbs or sudden weakness in the face or limbs, commonly on only one side of your body

· Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes

· Difficulty speaking or understanding speech

These are the same symptoms as a stroke.  The difference is that a TIA is caused by a temporary blockage of the carotid artery.  TIAs last only about a minute and symptoms rarely last more than 24 hours.  The attack is a sign that you will likely have a stroke within the next year if the problem isn’t resolved.  Many people have a stroke just days have their TIA.  If you have had a TIA, your doctor may recommend carotid artery surgery to clear the blockage and prevent a more severe stroke in the future.

You Have Already Had a Stroke

If you have already had a stroke, it is likely that your doctor will want you to have carotid artery surgery once you are sufficiently recovered.  This is to make sure that the blockage is completely cleared from your artery, preventing another stroke.  Strokes can leave long-lasting damage including paralysis and vision and speech problems.  Another stroke would only make these results worse, or even lead to death. 

Are You At Risk for Carotid Artery Disease?

Whether you already know you have carotid artery disease or just have several of the risk categories, don’t wait. Contact the experts at South Valley Vascular Associates. They can help diagnose you and figure out whether you need carotid artery surgery. Strokes can be life-threatening. Take your health seriously. Call (559) 625-4118 or visit South Valley Vascular online to schedule an appointment today.