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Carotid Stenting

Carotid stenting is a procedure that involves inserting a wire mesh tube to prop open the arteries that supply blood to the brain. When the carotid arteries are obstructed, patients are at increased risk for stroke. It is a common treatment for carotid artery disease, a condition caused by buildup of fatty substances and plaque. Physicians on the medical staff at Texas Health are using a new device that allows them to cross blockages in carotid arteries while greatly reducing the risk of stroke. The procedure involves using small balloons on the tip of a catheter that are inflated in the external carotid artery and the common carotid artery to suspend blood flow during the stenting process. The balloons act like surgical clamps, protecting the brain during the procedure. The percutaneous procedure requires no major surgery. It is a safe option to protect blood clots and other plaque debris from traveling to the brain during the treatment of carotid blockages.

Coiling

To get to the site of a brain aneurysm, surgeons have traditionally removed a section of the skull, a procedure called a craniotomy. They then used a metal clip to stop blood flow into the aneurysm, stabilizing the bulge and reducing risk of rupture. Called clipping, the procedure is still used today in some cases.

Surgeons on the medical staff at Texas Health have begun using a new technique, called coiling, to treat patients more quickly and with fewer side effects and less pain. The endovascular treatment involves inserting a catheter into an artery in the patient's leg and navigating it through the vascular system, into the head and into the aneurysm. Real-time fluoroscopic imaging is used to map the catheter’s route though the vascular system. At the location of the aneurysm, coils made of platinum are threaded through the catheter and opened inside the aneurysm. This step blocks further blood flow into the aneurysm and prevents rupture. The coils are made of platinum, so they are visible on s-rays, allowing surgeons to see the treatment site. Platinum is also flexible, allowing the coils to conform to the size and shape of the aneurysm. The procedure can be done under light sedation, and most patients go home the day after surgery.

Minimally Invasive Treatments for Abdominal and Thoracic Aneurysms