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Stroke

Surgery for stroke patient

09/06/2006

Question:

my father had a stroke in dec 05.His arteries in his neck both left and right are very narrow.the arteries in the back of his neck (1 blocked)the other almost blocked,Is there a chance he can have surgery to fix the narrowed arteries? He is taking coumadin.If he can have surgery what steps do I take to get him there.He is currently in a nursing home. I want my father well,He also has lost his eyesight due to the stroke. Thank you so much

Answer:

Unfortunately, you have not provided enough information for me to be able to provide you with an answer.  I presume that you are referring to the internal carotid arteries "in the neck"?  And that the vertebral arteries "in the back of the brain" are blocked and almost blocked?

Even if this is correct, I still do not have enough information to answer the question.  If a mostly narrowed internal carotid artery is the cause of his stroke, then there may be a surgery or non-surgical intervention that might be useful in preventing further strokes.  However, no procedure is without risk, and so the surgery is only offered to appropriate candidates who are likely to benefit and who are unlikely to have adverse events (like stroke or death) during or after the procedure.  Even if you father has had a stroke due to a narrowed internal carotid artery, he still may not be able to safely have the procedure.

If he has lost his sight due to a stroke in the back of the brain (in the occipital lobes), then it is unlikely that a surgery or procedure can be recommended at this time.

Only his doctor, who knows his full medical and surgical history, can determine if a procedure of any type would be advisable.

Finally, please realize that any such intervention would only serve to lower his risk for future stroke, presuming that the procedure itself does not cause any harm.  His symptoms might recover to some extent over time, but there is no procedure at this point in time that is definitively proven to restore the function that has been lost in the stroke. 

For more information:

Go to the Stroke health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Brett   Kissela, MD Brett Kissela, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Director, Neurology Residency Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati