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93-year-old saved through carotid endarterectomy procedure

A carotid endarterectomy was performed under regional anesthesia to avoid general anesthesia related complications. The patient was awake during the entire procedure which helps in accessing the blood supply to brain by talking to the patient.

Statesman News Service | Chennai |

A 93-year-old underwent a life-saving surgery (carotid endarterectomy) after being diagnosed with severe multiple blocks in the arteries supplying blood to his brain and right carotid artery. Since the blockade was 99 per cent, the patient was having frequent episodes of falls and giddiness and was suffering from hypertension and bronchial asthma for years.

Carotid arteries are major blood vessels in the neck that supply blood to the brain, neck, and face. There is a pair of carotid arteries on both sides of the neck.

Ibrahim (Name changed) had 99 percent blockade in the right carotid arteries and blocks in all the four blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. The blood flow to his brain was very minimal, causing dizziness and other problems. Apart from dizziness, he was suffering from hypertension and bronchial asthma.

The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to work correctly. Even a small break in blood supply can cause problems. Brain cells start dying after a few minutes without blood or oxygen. If the narrowing of the carotid arteries becomes severe enough to block the blood flow, or a piece of plaque breaks off and blocks the blood flow to the brain, a stroke may happen.

A team of doctors performed CT angiogram which showed multi-vessel diseases which is a high risk of stroke as blood supply to the brain is reduced drastically. The doctors planned to reduce the risk of stroke and increase the blood supply by clearing the obstruction in the right carotid artery. A carotid endarterectomy was performed under regional anesthesia to avoid general anesthesia related complications. The patient was awake during the entire procedure which helps in accessing the blood supply to brain by talking to the patient.

Dr. V Balaji, senior vascular and endo vascular surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, said, “Blockage in the blood vessel going to the brain can be cleared to prevent stroke. This procedure is called carotid endarterectomy.

“Our department has performed more than 700 such procedures in the last 20 years very specifically under regional anesthesia which reduces postoperative complications to minimum. Our post op success rates over the years have been more than 99 per cent which exceeds any western institutions and the cost of the procedure is only one third when compared to western units,” said Dr. Balaji.

The patient made a quick and excellent recovery and doing well five months after the operation.