Friday, January 10, 2014

Blocked Arteries in the Neck - Symptoms of Severe Arterial Plaque Deposits

The carotid arteries are 2 blood vessels, one either side of the neck, that each transport blood to the brain from the heart. These arteries can become partly or totally blocked resulting in the decrease of blood flow to the brain. This condition in turn is caused by atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is the outcome of a build up of cholesterol and calcium on the inner lining of the arteries. These deposits are referred to as plaques, which might eventually become so thick that they totally prevent the blood flow through the arteries. Those with untreated blocked carotid arteries are statistically likely to have a stroke.
Carotid artery occlusive disease is a permanent but treatable condition. Treatment is designed to stop further blockage and stroke. If there is some blockage devoid of symptoms, treatment will probably be limited to regular checkups, with ultrasound being used to monitor the condition along with medication that will cause the blood to thin to prevent the blood cells from clotting. Even if the arteries are severely narrowed, there is no guarantee of symptoms. If the blockage is severe, surgery might be recommended to reduce the possibility of stroke.
The most usual method of surgery, carotid endarterectomy, seeks to remove the plaque from the artery. For some patients, a balloon angioplasty (the inflating of a balloon to press the plaque to the artery wall), with the placement of a stent, may be recommended. If a carotid artery is 100% blocked, then it is unlikely anything would done to clear it because the risk of stroke is too high during or post operation.
Efforts are then concentrated on keeping the opposite carotid as open as possible. A person can live a good life with only one open carotid artery. The body is smart enough to reroute blood via a complex network to the side of the brain that would normally get blood via the blocked carotid. A dietitian (check with her MD) could help you devise an eating plan that is healthy &
If the brain is deprived of oxygen, it stops working -- with potentially catastrophic effects. If the resulting impairment is permanent, we call the event a stroke. If it is temporary, it's called a transient ischemic attack (TIA).
Every human has 4 carotid arteries through which blood moves from heart to brain. TIAs and strokes normally begin with an increase of cholesterol plaque in the carotid arteries -- the large blood vessels on either side of the neck which supply blood to the head and brain.
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