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Actor Rajinikanth Undergoes Carotid Artery Revascularization: Everything You Need To Know About The Procedure

Superstar Rajinikanth underwent carotid artery revascularization, a surgical procedure intended in part to restore blood supply to the brain. The 70-year-old actor was admitted to the hospital on Thursday following an 'episode of giddiness', according to the hospital's medical bulletin. The carotid artery was revascularized - a procedure that restores the flow of blood to the brain.

What Is Carotid Artery Revascularization?

A carotid endarterectomy, also known as Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR), is a procedure that removes plaque from the inside of your carotid artery to restore normal blood flow to your brain. During surgery, a surgeon will make an incision on your neck, access the affected artery, open it, and remove the plaque build-up. Carotid angioplasty is a procedure similar to this that involves using a small puncture in the groin or hand artery to insert a stent into the carotid artery [1].

A carotid angioplasty, also known as groin or hand angioplasty, involves puncturing the groin or hand artery and placing a stent in the carotid artery to open the blockage. It has been reported that the procedure was developed around 14 years ago, and the unique nature of the approach appealed to vascular surgeons [2].

How Is Carotid Artery Revascularization Done?

Revascularization of carotid arteries involves the removal of blockages in the carotid arteries, which improves the circulation in the carotid arteries. Both the left and right carotid arteries are responsible for supplying blood to the brain on both sides of the neck [3].

Initially, the surgeon makes a small incision in the low neck to expose the carotid arteries. After reversing the blood flow away from the brain, the surgeon will place the stent directly from this position, avoiding the risks posed by travelling up the femoral artery, the aorta, and up to the carotid artery. As the stent is placed via TCAR, which allows the carotid artery to function normally, the blood flow reverses to its normal direction toward the brain.

The procedure for carotid artery revascularization usually takes 45-60 minutes, and the patient is given only a local anaesthetic in the case of endovascular stenting. Following the treatment, there is a brief period of observation, and the patient is discharged within two to three days [4][5].

Why Is Carotid Artery Revascularization Done?

A carotid artery revascularization procedure may be recommended by your vascular surgeon if [6]:

You have been diagnosed with carotid artery disease that requires treatment.
You are at high risk for open surgery (carotid endarterectomy) due to your age, anatomy, or other medical conditions.

What Are The Risks Of Carotid Artery Revascularization?

TCAR can help reduce the risk of stroke following any carotid artery intervention, as any procedure that is performed on the carotid artery carries some degree of risk. The following are some of the possible risks associated with TCAR [7]:

  • Heart attack, stroke, or death
  • Damage to the carotid artery or cranial nerve
  • Bleeding, bruising, or swelling around the site of access

On A Final Note...

Carotid artery revascularization was officially introduced in 2018. It was developed by Enrique Criado, M.D., a former Michigan Medicine faculty member, and tested within Michigan Medicine during clinical trials. The TCAR was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in late 2018.

Story first published: Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 15:39 [IST]
Read more about: artery heart surgery