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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 surgery. Before stenting is done, you may talk to and be examined by 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 to include iodine, latex, contrast dye, tape, or any anesthestics (local or general). 

  • 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 before surgery. This may improve your chances of a successful recovery from surgery and benefit your overall health status, as smoking increases clot formation in the blood. 

  • You will be given one or more medications to help prevent blood clots from forming in 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 that you:

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

Risks and Possible Complications

  • Stroke

  • Bleeding at puncture site

  • Thrombosis (blood clot) at the puncture site 

  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)

  • Thrombosis (blood clot) in the treated vessel

  • Reaction to contrast fluid

  • Cardiac arrhythmias (heart rhythm problems)

  • Restenosis (reblockage) of the artery and possible need for retreatment

  • Worsening of kidney function

  • Heart attack

  • Death


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