What to expect before Carotid Endarterectomy?

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Dec 27, 2012

Your doctor will talk to you about how to prepare for carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Before CEA, you may have one or more tests to examine your carotid arteries.

These tests can show whether your arteries are narrowed or blocked, and how severe your condition is.

Carotid Ultrasound

Carotid ultrasound uses sound waves to create pictures of the inside of your carotid arteries. A carotid ultrasound shows the structure of your carotid arteries. A Doppler carotid ultrasound shows how blood moves through your carotid arteries.

Carotid Angiography

Carotid angiography is a special type of x ray. For this test, a small tube called a catheter is put into an artery, usually in the groin (upper thigh). The tube is then threaded up into the carotid artery.

A special dye (called contrast dye) is then injected into the carotid arteries. The dye helps show blockages in the arteries and how severe they are.

Magnetic Resonance Angiography

Magnetic resonance angiography is a test that uses an imaging device with a large magnet and radio waves. The device makes images of the carotid arteries after they're injected with contrast dye.

Computed Tomography Angiography

Computed tomography (to-MOG-rah-fee) angiography, or CT angiography, takes x-ray pictures of the body from many angles. A computer combines the pictures into two- and three-dimensional images. Contrast dye also is used during this test.

Other Ways To Prepare for Carotid Endarterectomy

Your doctor may ask you to fast (not eat any food) the night before the CEA. If you take prescription medicines, your doctor may tell you to change how you take them.


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