A new study suggests techniques used to clear arteries blocked by heart disease can also be used on the carotid artery to prevent stroke.
Three years after studying 180 patients researchers say their results show angioplasty and stenting are as effective as surgery. During the procedure, physicians insert a catheter through a hole in an artery in the groin and thread it through to the carotid artery. Then, the artery is widened by inflating a balloon at the tip of the catheter. A wire stent is inserted to hold the artery open.
Though surgery has traditionally been the preferred method of treating carotid artery disease, researchers now say that with its usual success comes significant risks . They also say patients can go home the day after an angioplasty or stenting procedure, whereas the recovery time after surgery can take up to a week.
Thus researchers conclude on a positive note saying that in the future angioplasty will be used for every part of the body and not just the heart.