A Simple Explanation
This is a procedure to open up the stenotic Carotid and Renal arteries and inserting of stents to hold up these arteries.
What is Carotid Stenting?
Carotid Stenting or Carotid Artery Stenting is an endovascular surgery, performed inside the blood vessels to treat heart diseases. In this procedure, a stent is inserted within the lumen of the carotid artery to prevent narrowing of the carotid artery and allow for improved blood flow and thus reduce the chance for stroke.
There are two Carotid arteries, one on either side of the neck, supplying blood to the brain. These arteries undergo narrowing due to the presence of fatty deposits or plaque. If the plaque breaks open, blood clots are formed that could travel to the brain and cause a stroke.
What is Renal Stenting?
Renal Stenting or Renal Artery Stenting is a procedure performed to widen the renal arteries. Renal arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood to the kidneys.
The kidneys are responsible in controlling the amount of salt and fluid in the human body, by filtering the blood and producing urine. So when the renal artery is blocked, the blood flow to the kidneys is reduced and the fluid builds up in the body. This leads the kidney to release the hormone Renin, which helps in retention of salt and water, in turn making the blood vessels more rigid. All these, in turn, results in a type of high blood pressure called Renovascular Hypertension, which is responsible for kidney failure.
Renal Artery Stenosis or narrowing is caused by atherosclerosis or fibrous disease of the arteries.
The Carotid and Renal Stenting procedures have a lot of common processes. Both of them are usually performs during an Angioplasty procedure. Angioplasty is usually performed in a catheterization laboratory, equipped with X-ray imaging equipment. A contrast dye is inserted into the patient’s blood to make it visible in the X-ray imaging equipment.
During The Procedure
The procedure is performed using catheters, to insert the stents. The doctor inserts the catheter into a large artery, usually the femoral artery in the groin. Then it is pushed through other arteries to reach the blocked artery, carotid artery (for Carotid Stenting) or Renal artery (for Renal artery). The positioning of the catheter is assisted by the contrast dye added, which is visible in the X-ray.
Once the first catheter is positioned, the doctor inserts a balloon with the stent into the first catheter using a guide-wire and positions them next to the narrowed segment of the artery. The balloon is placed inside the stent and then inflated, opening up the stent and thus, opening up the inner walls of the artery. Now the balloon is deflated and removed, leaving the stent in position, to maintain the blood flow.
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