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What are the complications of surgery on the neck arteries?

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Quick Answer

Complications following surgery on neck arteries include stroke, the narrowing of the carotid artery, blood clots and bleeding, according to Mayo Clinic. This type of surgery is known as carotid angioplasty.

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Full Answer

During the angioplasty procedure, blood clots may form on catheters, break off and travel to the brain, according to Mayo Clinic. This may cause a stroke, so blood thinners are often given to patients in order to alleviate this risk. Strokes may also occur if the plaque in the patient's arteries becomes dislodged during the surgery and travels to the brain.

Another complication of neck artery surgery is the narrowing of carotid arteries within months, states Mayo Clinic. In order to reduce the risks of this occurring, stents may be placed in the arteries. Though stents may be placed during surgery, there is also a risk of blood clots forming in the weeks and months following the procedure. Patients are advised to take aspirin or clopidogrel to decrease the risk of clots.

Bleeding at the sites of catheter insertion is also a risk following neck artery surgery, according to Mayo Clinic. Though most people simply experience bruising, bleeding may turn serious and require a blood transfusion or other surgical procedures.

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