Preparing for Carotid Artery Stenting

Carotid artery stenting can help reduce the chance that you will have a stroke. You will be given instructions on how best to prepare for your procedure. Before the stenting is done, you may meet with one or more specialists. Be sure to follow the instructions below and any other instructions your health care provider gives you.

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A week or more before the surgery

Before the surgery, be sure to:

  • Tell your doctor if you have any allergies to foods or medications, such as iodine, latex, contrast dye, tape, or local or general anesthetics.

  • Tell your doctor about any medications you take, especially if you are currently taking blood thinners.This includes over-the-counter medications, herbs, and supplements.

  • Make medication changes as directed by your doctor. You may be told to stop some of the medications you currently take.

  • Tell your doctor if you have a pacemaker.

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.

  • If you smoke, you should stop smoking as soon as possible beforeyour procedure. This may improve your chances of a successful recovery and benefit your overall health. Smoking increases clot formation in the blood.

  • You will be given one or more medications to help prevent blood clots from forming in the arteries. These antiplatelet medications may include aspirin and prescription medication. Take these as directed.

The day before the surgery

Before you have your stenting surgery, be sure to:

  • Pack for an overnight stay in the hospital.

  • Arrange for a ride to and from the hospital.

  • Don’t eat or drink after midnight, the night before the procedure.

  • Ask your doctor which medications to take during this period. Take them with a sip of water.

Risks and possible complications

The risks of this procedure include:

  • Stroke

  • Bleeding at the puncture site

  • Headache

  • Bleeding into the brain

  • Blood clot at the puncture site

  • Low blood pressure

  • Blood clot in the treated vessel

  • Reaction to contrast fluid

  • Heart rhythm problems, such as slow heart rate

  • Reblockage of the artery and possible need to get treatment again

  • Worsening of kidney function

  • Heart attack

  • Death


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