Ayesha Shafiq Tells About the Rare Procedure of Carotid Artery Stenting

What is Carotid Artery Stenting (CAS)?

The Carotid arteries are the arteries in your neck that supply the head and brain with blood. Carotid Artery Stenting (CAS) is a procedure in which Dr. Khalid Shafiq inserts a slender, expanding tube, called a stent inside your artery to increase blood flow in areas blocked by plaque.

How do blockages' in your Carotid Arteries Occur?

The blockages occur due to deposition of plaque or by hardening of the arteries, a process called atherosclerosis. When this blockage occurs in your carotid arteries, it is called Carotid Artery Stenosis. This hardening can cause build up of plaque that can eventually cause decreased blood flow through the arteries. Sometimes these pieces of the plaque can break free and block arteries in the brain. If this occurs your risk of stroke is greatly increased.

What are the symptoms of reduced blood flow through the Carotids?

Symptoms of decreased blood flow include-dizziness, weakness. Slurred speech, periodic loss of sight in one or both eyes and numbness.

How can you treat Carotid Artery Stenosis?

Treatment for this condition depends upon your symptoms, the amount of blockages and any underlying medical problems you may have. Dr. Khalid Shafiq can determine at that point if you are a candidate for CAS procedure. FDA approves Carotid Artery Stenting (CAS) and Khalid Shafiq M.D performs this procedure at Paris Regional Medical Center.

Patients who are not candidates for CAS procedure include, patients who have had bleeding in the brain in the last two months or have complete blockage of the Carotid Arteries.

How do I prepare for Carotid Artery Stenting (CAS) procedure?

Dr. Khalid Shafiq and his nursing staff will give you specific instructions on things to do before the procedure. It usually includes taking medication that prevents clots 3 to 5 days before the procedure along with some tests to get as much information as possible about the blockages in your Carotid arteries including a Carotid CT angiogram performed at Paris Cardiology Center.

What can I expect during the Carotid Artery Stenting (CAS) procedure?

Dr. Khalid Shafiq performs this procedure in the Cardiac Cath Lab at PRMC. The CAS procedure usually lasts around 1 to 2 hours. Dr. Shafiq starts by inserting a catheter into an artery in your groin area. Through this catheter he will use dye and X-ray to look at the actual blockages. After that, he will use either a balloon or a stent to open the blockage.

What can I expect after (CAS) Procedure?

You will stay overnight at the Hospital. Bruising and mild tenderness at the puncture site are common. You will be asked to engage in light activities for several days after you leave the hospital. You will be put on blood thinners to keep clots from forming. Dr. Shafiq at Paris Cardiology Center will follow up with you through periodic examinations and Carotid Ultrasounds to make sure that your stent stays open.

Are there any complications of (CAS) procedure?

The chances of complications through Carotid Artery Stenting (CAS) procedure are very small. However complications include Kidney damage and bleeding from the puncture site or in a rare case scenario blockage by a clot or debris in one of the arteries in the brain can cause serious complications after CAS procedure since it can result in a stroke.

What can I do to prevent blockages or keep them from getting worse?

Dr. Shafiq gives the following recommendations:

  • Quit Smoking

  • Exercise more regularly

  • Maintain your ideal body weight

  • Follow your physician's recommendations for blood pressure, cholesterol and blood thinners.

Click the link below to see a diagram and better understand the procedure.

Carotid Artery Stenting (CAS) Procedure

Ayesha Shafiq, Director of Paris Cardiology Center. Wife of Khalid Shafiq M.D. and mother of their 2 children. Director of Paris Cardiology Center for 11 years. Masters in International Relations. Runs management with the help of 22 employees.