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Procedures Used After a TIA

Procedures Used as TIA Treatment

There are certain procedures that also may be recommended as part of treating TIA. One of these procedures is a carotid endarterectomy. A newer procedure is called angioplasty with stenting.
Carotid Endarterectomy
A carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure in which a doctor removes fatty deposits blocking one of the two carotid arteries, the main supply of blood for the brain. Carotid artery problems become more common as people age.
The disease process that causes the buildup of fat and other material inside the artery walls is called atherosclerosis, popularly known as "hardening of the arteries." The fatty deposit is called plaque; the narrowing of the artery is called stenosis. The degree of stenosis is usually expressed as a percentage of the normal diameter of the opening.
It has been shown that when carotid endarterectomy is used as part of a person's TIA treatment, the risk for stroke or death is decreased by up to 80 percent.
Angioplasty With Stenting
Angioplasty with stenting is a procedure similar to those used to unclog and open heart arteries. Angioplasty with stenting involves inserting a long, thin catheter tube into an artery in the leg and threading the catheter through a blood vessel into the narrow stenosis of the carotid artery in the neck. Once the catheter is in place in the carotid artery, the doctor widens the artery with a balloon, then inserts an expanding metal scaffold (stent) into the neck artery.
A healthcare provider may recommend angioplasty for people who are not good candidates for a carotid endarterectomy, or for narrowing in arteries that are not easily accessible with surgery.
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