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Vascular Surgery

How is high risk and low risk determinded?

11/20/2006

Question:

I went to the eye Dr. and a piece of plaque was discover in a vien in my eye. Dr. sent me to have a carotid ultra sound. It showed significant blockage. I was referred to a vascular DR.and had a catherazation to determine the extent of the stenosis.87% The vascular Dr. petioned to have stent verses surgery because an aortic aneurysm was also discovered which will require surgery. He wrote I was a low risk patient.Would not the plaque breaking loose be high risk? It could have caused a stroke or worse according to the eye Dr.The insurance is deciding if I can have stents. It has now been four weeks and counting. Should I be waiting around for stents or have the surgery? Am I a walking time bomb?

Answer:

I would need to know more details before advising you further. The only problem with getting a carotid stent versus undergoing a carotid surgery is the need for Plavix after the carotid stent. This will delay the repair of your AAA assuming it is open surgery and not a stent. If you are concerned, I would suggest seeking a second opinion or following up with your vascular surgeon to get more answers. This is not something for an email discussion and requires a face-to-face discussion.

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Response by:

Amy B Reed, MD Amy B Reed, MD
No longer associated