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Is Carotid Artery Surgery Dangerous?

carotid artery surgery As with any type of surgery, there are always risks to a procedure. But, if your physician has suggested carotid artery surgery, you may want to further assess the risks, and how they could impact you the rest of your life.

In your neck, you have two large arteries. These are known as the carotid arteries. They help supply blood to the brain – if one becomes blocked, it can lead to a stroke. The surgery to clear this is known as a carotid endarterectomy, or CEA. If your artery is blocked, you may be curious of whether or not this is the right procedure for you.

Surgery May Not Be Necessary

While some physicians and surgeons are quick to suggest surgery, if you have not had any symptoms, you may not need to do an extreme treatment. If, however, you have had a stroke or mini-stroke, then the surgery could help you prevent another stroke in the future. Also, if you have very blocked arteries, a surgeon will suggest the procedure.

However, if you have had no strokes or mini-strokes, then the procedure may not benefit you. There are other ways in which you can reduce a stroke without surgery – including changing medications or lifestyle modifications.

Ideally, CEA should be reserved for patients who have:

  • Severely blocked arteries that have already caused strokes.
  • Moderate blockages that have led to mini-strokes.
  • Severe blockages that have not caused strokes, but the patient is 40 to 75 years of age and still has a relatively low risk of surgical complications.

There Are Risks

If you are a candidate for CEA, you need to understand all of the risks and complications – since they are serious with this type of procedure. Just some risks include: Stroke, heart attack, and death. Also, if you are 75 years or older, you could be at heightened risk. Certain conditions can also increase the likelihood of complication, such as:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Heart failure
  3. Heart attack
  4. Severe heart and/or lung disease

There Are Costs, Too

CEA is an expensive procedure that not all insurance plans will cover. Therefore, you will want to go over the costs with your physician, and make sure that it is fiscally sensible to have the procedure, too.

Complications Are Not Always Negligence

While this procedure carries significant risks, these risks and the known complications can occur without being considered negligence. If you were injured during your procedure and your physician provided you with reasonable care (meaning that the same care that other physicians of the same expertise would provide), then it is unlikely that you have a malpractice claim. If, however, you suffered complications and your physician failed to perform within the standard of medical care, then you could have a malpractice claim.

Were You Injured by a Dangerous Procedure?

Even if you consented to the procedure, your physician may not have gone over the risks and complications with you; therefore, you did not have informed consent. If you were injured because of a lack of information or due to a physician’s oversight, you may be entitled to compensation. You will need to explore your legal options with a Connecticut malpractice attorney first. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation.  Contact us online to get started.

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