NYM Offers Carotid Artery Stenting

Mar 26, 2008

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 700,000 Americans experience a stroke each year, and approximately 150,000 Americans die annually, due to a stroke. New York Methodist Hospital is now one of the few hospitals in the New York area certified to perform carotid artery stenting, a new procedure designed to treat and prevent artery blockages that can cause strokes.

"Carotid artery stenting is a beneficial new treatment for patients with carotid artery disease, and particularly for those who are not good candidates for invasive surgery, said Marcus D'Ayala, M.D., chief of vascular surgery at NYM. "Medical problems like vascular disease and advanced age are contraindications for surgical candidates. New data indicates that carotid artery stenting can be a lifesaver for these patients."

While conducting this procedure, doctors use advanced imaging techniques to locate the exact placement of blockages and plaque in the carotid artery, an important blood vessel in the neck that supplies the brain with blood. The doctors then insert small mesh stents to open the walls of the artery and clear the blockages. These mesh stents also have small filters that are designed to catch debris and other loose particles, which helps prevent new blockages and further decreases the chance of stroke.

Unlike invasive surgery that's used to treat artery blockages, carotid artery stenting involves no incisions, so patients can look forward to shorter recovery periods and fewer post-operative complications. In fact, the results of several new studies indicate that carotid artery stenting is safer and more effective than invasive surgery for many patients.