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Patients with carotid artery disease may experience short episodes of weakness in their arms or legs, on either the left or right side of the body. Inability to speak is another warning sign of stroke. Should these symptoms occur, the patient should immediately be brought to the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Emergency Department or the nearest hospital emergency facility.
Risk factors of developing carotid artery disease include:
Patients who have suffered a stroke, or are considered high-risk, undergo a thorough vascular exam, including an ultrasound of the neck arteries. As necessary, a computed tomography (CT scan) angiogram or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan are requested to assist in diagnosis.
Lifestyle changes and some medications can help reduce the risk of stroke. However, if a significant narrowing of the carotid artery is detected, the patient may need surgery. There are two surgical options for treatment: carotid endarterectomy and carotid stenting.
In carotid endarterectomy, the surgeon operates on the carotid artery to remove the material that has accumulated on the carotid artery wall.
In carotid stenting, a catheter is inserted into the patient’s groin area and threaded towards the carotid artery, where a balloon is used to expand the blood vessel, and a metal stent is inserted to maintain the correct size.
Long-term follow-up care for stroke patients is provided by multidisciplinary teams who operate cross-functionally between the Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute and Neurological Institute. Resources available to patients include rehabilitation and speech recovery programs.
Treatment is provided by specialists from the Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute and the Neurological Institute, working in close cooperation. Caregivers involved in patient care for this program are: