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Plugged arteries to the brain - stroke risk?


dreinke

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I have probably answered dozens of questions like this on stroke forums. The medical staff is doing a lousy job explaining this.

 

 

 

 

Your doctor is quite remiss in not telling you about the physiology of the brain. There is a Circle of Willis that supplies blood to the brain. That is fed by four arteries, two carotid and two vertebral. Just because one or more arteries are blocked does not directly cause a stroke. The usual case is that the narrowed artery tears, clots and the clot lets go, traveling to the brain. You normally do not clean out a totally plugged artery because of the high risk of sending debris to the brain. I had a totally blocked right carotid artery for four years now and I don't worry about getting a stroke from that. Ask your doctor about this to see if s/he understands basic brain matters.

 

But then I am a stroke-addled survivor, so don't listen to what I have to say, your doctor is infallible, listen to them.

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oc1dean !

 

Well done! I especially applaud your fearless

attack on the problem of blind acceptance and/or anti-think i.e. that every thing a doctor sayeth is THE ONLY TRUTH.

 

Doctors are mere humans, meaning they can be

lazy, under-read and C MINUS thinkers.

 

I agree with your implied message: Every one must

research and come to understand as much as possible about the situation they find themselves in.

 

It's crazy to trust every doctor all of the time. Some of them barely passed their exams.

 

Rachel, a caregiver

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My husband had a right brain stroke as it was explained to us in Feb. of this year. It affected his left side. His left carotid artery is fully blocked, right carotid 50-60% blocked. He still cannot move the left arm/hand too much. What is confusing is that one surgeon said the stroke was caused by the right carotid artery. The other surgeon we went to, for 2nd opinion, said he did not believe the stroke was caused from right carotid artery but may have been something in the brain causing it. He is monitoring it until he deems it necessary to consider surgery. The first surgeon wanted to operate right away after Larry's 6 week recovery. No further tests - just go in and cut away. The risk of surgery is too much to consider anyway without two surgeons disagreeing. How can we decide if the experts in this field don't agree on the way to "fix" the problem? I pray every day that he will not have another stroke but also fear surgery.

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Rachel, I know I am preaching to the choir but this book really opened my eyes:

Hippocrates' shadow : secrets from the house of medicine / David H. Newman. Good for realizing that doctors do not know everything.

Dean

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The first surgeon wanted to operate right away after Larry's 6 week recovery. No further tests - just go in and cut away. The risk of surgery is too much to consider anyway without two surgeons disagreeing. How can we decide if the experts in this field don't agree on the way to "fix" the problem? I pray every day that he will not have another stroke but also fear surgery.

The difference between the two doctors might be if one thinks that the left carotid was still partially open and a clot from that caused the stroke, with the artery totally closing up since then.

Make sure you get the best doctor possible and ask specifically what is being done during surgery to GUARANTEE that the surgery will not cause another stroke. Do not back down.

don't listen to me, I'm just a stroke-addled lay person.

Dean

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The first surgeon wanted to operate right away after Larry's 6 week recovery. No further tests - just go in and cut away. The risk of surgery is too much to consider anyway without two surgeons disagreeing. How can we decide if the experts in this field don't agree on the way to "fix" the problem? I pray every day that he will not have another stroke but also fear surgery.

The difference between the two doctors might be if one thinks that the left carotid was still partially open and a clot from that caused the stroke, with the artery totally closing up since then.

Make sure you get the best doctor possible and ask specifically what is being done during surgery to GUARANTEE that the surgery will not cause another stroke. Do not back down.

don't listen to me, I'm just a stroke-addled lay person.

Dean

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The first surgeon wanted to operate right away after Larry's 6 week recovery. No further tests - just go in and cut away. The risk of surgery is too much to consider anyway without two surgeons disagreeing. How can we decide if the experts in this field don't agree on the way to "fix" the problem? I pray every day that he will not have another stroke but also fear surgery.

The difference between the two doctors might be if one thinks that the left carotid was still partially open and a clot from that caused the stroke, with the artery totally closing up since then.

Make sure you get the best doctor possible and ask specifically what is being done during surgery to GUARANTEE that the surgery will not cause another stroke. Do not back down.

don't listen to me, I'm just a stroke-addled lay person.

Dean

 

And I am just a stressed out, overwhelmed caregiver who relies on the expertise of the medical experts. I'm learning a lot though. If the left carotid artery caused the stroke, why did my husband have a left sided affect? It's usually left carotid causing right side affect or visa versa. I don't think the first surgeon knew either. He just went by process of elimination and said it was caused by the right carotid artery. The nuerologist in the same group of ER room doctors agreed. I hope we are right. Even Dr. Oz says when people go to a surgeon for a second opinion, many times they will say it is not necessary at this time and to wait. Larry had a roomate in the acute rehab center who had the surgery after a TIA and had a stroke from the procedure. He was older but still there is that risk to weigh.

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[quote name='oc1dean' date='24 November 2010 - And I am just a stressed out, overwhelmed caregiver who relies on the expertise of the medical experts. I'm learning a lot though. If the left carotid artery caused the stroke, why did my husband have a left sided affect? It's usually left carotid causing right side affect or visa versa. I don't think the first surgeon knew either. He just went by process of elimination and said it was caused by the right carotid artery. The nuerologist in the same group of ER room doctors agreed. I hope we are right. Even Dr. Oz says when people go to a surgeon for a second opinion, many times they will say it is not necessary at this time and to wait. Larry had a roomate in the acute rehab center who had the surgery after a TIA and had a stroke from the procedure. He was older but still there is that risk to weigh.

Ok, what your doctors are not telling you is how blood is supplied to the brain. Read my post on the Circle of Willis

http://oc1dean.blogspot.com/2010/11/plugged-arteries-to-brain-stroke-risk.html

The clot could come from anywhere and end up anywhere in the brain. Google Circle of Willis to find a picture and then you will know at least at much as your doctors. :head_hurts:

Dean

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