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Preparing for Carotid Endarterectomy

Carotid endarterectomy removes plaque that has built up in your carotid artery. This helps reduce your risk of a stroke. You will be told how to prepare for your procedure. Be sure to follow all of the instructions you are given.

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A Week Before

  • Tell your doctor about any allergies you have.

  • Tell your doctor about all medications you take. This includes over-the-counter medications, herbs, and supplements. Be sure to mention if you are taking blood thinners.

  • Make medication changes as directed by your doctor. You may be told to stop taking certain medications you normally take. You may also be told to start taking certain medications before surgery.

The Day Before

  • Arrange for a ride home when your hospital recovery is finished. An adult family member or friend should drive you home.

  • Don’t eat or drink after midnight, the night before the procedure. (Ask your doctor whether you should continue to take any medications during this period.)

  • Follow any other instructions you are given.

On the Day of the Procedure

When you arrive at the hospital, you’ll change into a hospital gown. Hospital staff will prepare you for the procedure. An IV (intravenous) line will be started to provide you with fluids and medications. You will then be taken to the room where the procedure is performed.

Risks and Possible Complications of Carotid Endarterectomy

  • TIA or stroke

  • Bleeding at the incision site

  • Heart attack

  • Temporary or permanent hoarseness, numbness, or swallowing problems

 

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