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 procedure. Before the stenting is done, you may meet with one or more specialists. Be sure to follow the instructions below and any other instructions your healthcare 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 medicines, such as iodine, latex, contrast dye, tape, or local or general anesthetics.

  • Tell your doctor about any medicines you take, especially if you are currently taking blood thinners. This includes over-the-counter medicines, herbs, and supplements. You may be told to stop some of the medicines you currently take.

  • Tell your doctor if you have a pacemaker.

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you could be.

  • If you smoke, stop smoking as soon as possible before your procedure. This may improve your chances of a successful recovery and benefit your overall health. Smoking increases clot formation in the blood.

  • You will be given one or more medicines to help prevent blood clots from forming in the arteries. These antiplatelet medicines may include aspirin and prescription medicine. Take these as directed.

The day before the surgery

Before you have your stenting surgery, be sure to:

  • 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 procedure.

  • Ask your doctor which medicines to take during this period. Take them with a sip of water.

Risks and possible complications

The risks of this procedure include:

  • Stroke

  • Bleeding at the puncture site

  • Headache

  • Bleeding into the brain

  • Blood clot at the puncture site

  • Low blood pressure

  • Blood clot in the treated vessel

  • Reaction to contrast fluid

  • Heart rhythm problems, such as slow heart rate

  • Reblockage of the artery and possible need to get treatment again

  • Worsening of kidney function

  • Heart attack

  • Death