Getting ready for a carotid endarterectomy

Before being admitted for surgery, you'll have a careful pre-operative assessment.

Ifacarotid endarterectomy has been arranged in advance, this assessmentwill usuallybe carried out at a hospital pre-assessment clinic a few days before you're due to have theprocedure. In some cases, you'll be asked to attend the pre-assessment clinic on the day the operation is scheduled.

Alternatively,you may be seenat aspecialist clinic if you've recently had a Heat exhaustion and heatstroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) . Tests to check the health of your arteries will be carried out,and you may be admitted for surgery immediately if your carotid arteries are found to be severely narrowed.

Pre-admission clinic

You'llhave a physical examination and be asked about your medical history at a pre-admission clinic. Any further tests or investigations that are needed will also be carried out at this time.

The pre-admission clinic is a goodopportunity for youto ask your treatment team about the procedure, although you can discuss any concerns you may have at any time.

If you're taking any medication (prescribed or otherwise), it would be useful to bring it with you to the pre-admission clinic so the details can be noted.

You'll be asked whether you've had anaesthetic (painkilling medication) in the past and whether you experienced any problems or side effects, such as feeling sick. You'll also beasked whether you're allergic to anything to avoid a reaction to any medication you may need during your treatment.

Your treatment teamwill ask youabout your teeth, including whether you wear dentures, have caps or a plate. This is because during the operation you may need to have a tube put down your throat to help you breathe, and loose teeth could be dangerous.

Preparing for surgery

Before having a carotidendarterectomy, your surgeon will discuss howyou shouldprepare. They may give youthe following advice:

  • stop smoking smoking increases your risk of developing a chest infection, can delay healing, andincrease your risk of developing a blood clot
  • watch your weight if you're overweight, losing weight will be recommended, butas strenuous exercise could be dangerous, you'll need to do this by dieting; your GPwill be able toadvise you about how to lose weight
  • gentle post-op exercise being active can help yourrecovery, butyou shouldn't overdo it; your surgeon or GPcan advise you about how much you can do
  • think positive a positive mental attitude can help you deal with the stress of surgery and aid your recovery


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016