Occlusion is another word for blockage. Arterial blockage can be caused by the build up of a fatty substance called plaque on the inside walls of the arteries, which essentially narrows the artery and affects the flow of blood and the oxygen and nutrients it carries. The hardening of arteries occurs most often in patients over the age of 50 and those who smoke. The condition is also linked to high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Patients can reduce their risk of developing this condition by avoiding smoking, maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise. It is also important to have regular screenings as the early stages are often symptomless.
Carotid artery stenting is a less invasive procedure to improve the blood flow disruption caused by carotid artery disease. Stenting is delivered via catheterization, wherein a small incision is made in the groin of the patient and the catheter is fed to the blockage. Once in place, a small balloon is inflated inside the artery for a few seconds to open it up, the the stent is placed to reinforce the arterial walls and hold the artery open, improving blood flow. A stent is a small mesh tube that acts like scaffolding inside the artery.
This procedure involves the removal of plaque build up on the inside on the carotid arteries. It is performed with general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision near the blockage to access the artery, isolates the artery and surgically removes the plaque. When the artery is cleared, he will close the artery, allowing improved blood flow to the brain and other body parts. In some situations, bypass surgery may be necessary. Dr. Collins will take a piece of a healthy blood vessel from a different part of the patient’s body, usually the leg, chest, or arm, then graft, or connect, it to either side of the blocked vessel. This creates a new path for the blood flow to follow, bypassing the blockage. These procedures are carried out while the patient is under anesthesia.
This is a short-list of just some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.