It seems that an endarterectomy is recommended for opening up the blocked carotid on my left side. It is now seven months since my stroke and I take meds for bp, blood thinning and statins. I do not know what % of arterial blockage I have but at aged 80 it seems a bit extreme to undergo what sounds like a very radical “scraping” of the gunge clogging the artery.
Anyone had this procedure, and anything helpful they can share. Thanks, AnaV


Hi @Anav - my partner had a TIA twelve months ago and the subsequent investigations showed that one of his carotid arteries was completely blocked and one 80% blocked. He then had an endarterectomy to clear the partially blocked one (apparently they leave them if they’re fully blocked).
He is in his mid-60s but obviously there’s a risk with any surgery. However, without the surgery he was at risk of having a stroke, so he decided to go ahead with it. There is still some sensitivity around the scarring but nothing that he can’t cope with.
You might want to ask about whether it will be local or general anaesthetic. I think the preference is for a local but he ended up having general anaesthetic and that meant he had to stay in hospital for a few days.
The other thing that happened to him was that his blood pressure was all over the place afterwards. I’ve no idea whether clearing the blockage affected it, but it ended up too low and his (existing) meds had to be changed.
If you’ve any questions please let me know and I’ll check with him.
Best wishes.

Thank you JSCARPM for your info, exactly the useful feedback one appreciates. Particularly being told that one could have a local rather than general anesthetic. Now I wonder if there is anyone out there who had this done with a local, wasn’t it a bit gruesome? General anesthesia affects me very badly and I would rather have a local but am scared. You didn’t say how long ago your partner had the surgery and whether he noticed he had more energy, less breathlessness, etc., in fact whether it was worthwhile. I realise the options were limited, but I am 80 and don’t want to be subjected to unnecessary trauma. Many thanks to all. xAnaV

Not had it done myself but I have been awake for a few surgeries now and none of them were remotely gruesome because you can’t see a darn thing anyway. But I’m a nosey, curious bugger so when surgeons were removing metalwork from healed broken ankle I asked could I watch. Well they sat me up a little, but with the 2 of them together on either side of the ankle with their backs to me all I see was through the lighting frames :confused: But they did show me the plate and pins they removed :grin: :wink:

So if the surgeon is working on your neck, chances are your head will be turned away, face covered to avoid splatter, etc so you won’t see anything gruesome anyway.

If you can have the op with a local, I would highly recommend it as you’ll get out of the place far quicker :smile:

@petejay has also started a post on this very subject so you could keep an eye on each others, maybe compare notes later :wink: :smile:

Hi @Anav - he had the surgery in August 2022.

I’ve just asked him about it and he said “I’m glad I had it done”. Having seen how I was affected by my stroke, he was obviously keen to avoid that if he could.

He did have more energy afterwards but I can’t comment on breathlessness as that isn’t something he’s ever had.

The recovery took a little while and for a couple of weeks he was having dressings changed by the district nurse team. He also couldn’t drive for a little while because he couldn’t bear the seat belt near his neck (it was his right carotid artery). Yours is your left side though so if you drive that might be okay.

He would have preferred to have the local anaesthetic, but the surgeon made a last minute change and of course you can’t argue with them! I’m sure it wouldn’t be “gruesome” though.

You’re clearly (and sensibly) considering your options. I wish you well in reaching your decision.

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I have started taking blood thinner in January 26th

I lost my mom Rose bud Smith She passed away Massa Tia 1992 she was only 57 years old

I had the same problem with my seat belt the first time I was allowed to drive again with the rubbing causing some of the scar to open up , albeit only a small amount of leakage of fluid - no blood. For anyone having a right sided endarterectomy I would recommend investing in one of the soft pads you can buy from car accessories to reduce the seat belt rubbing .

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Hi @colinS

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