Carotid Artery Stenting

Carotid stenting is another technique to treat a narrowed carotid artery. It involves accessing your arterial system at the groin (the femoral artery) and the passing a plastic tube from there, inside your artery, all the way to the neck. A stent is then deployed inside the artery to “open it up”. The stent is usually made of a fine meshwork of metallic compounds. A stent rather than just a balloon (angioplasty) is used to open up the carotid artery to minimize the chance or re-narrowing (restenosis). A filter will often be passed up through the stenosis before the stent is deployed to catch any material that may be broken off from the plaque during deployment of the stent. If this material was not captured a stroke may occur.

The advantages of carotid stenting over endarterectomy (i.e. surgery) stem from its less invasive nature. No incision is required and the recovery time is normally faster. Unfortunately many large international studies have found that the post-procedural stroke rate associated with carotid stenting is higher than with carotid endarterectomy. For this reason your doctor will normally only recommend carotid stenting for you in certain specific medical situations.

Back to: Carotid Artery Disease, Strokes and TIAs.