Carotid arteries are the main blood vessels that supply the brain. These vessels are prone to “hardening of the arteries” known as atherosclerosis. At times this “hardening” can cause clots to travel to the brain. This often results in a mini stroke, stroke or sudden loss of vision. Once the disease in the carotid arteries starts to cause problems, the patient is at a high risk of future strokes. Immediate medical attention should be sought.
Mr Brooks unashamedly prefers open surgery to stenting the carotid arteries in most cases. This is because despite the early promise of carotid stenting, it has never shown better outcomes. In most large studies carotid stenting was associated with increased stroke rates when compared to open surgery.
Mr Brooks is careful to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of surgery at length with both the patient and family.