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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Ischemic Heart Disease

Question: Endarterectomy tenderness and swollen carotid artery

 DDinMI - Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:06 am

Five weeks ago I had an endarterectomy on my right carotid, and my surgeon inserted a "patch". Now that the swelling has diminished in my neck, I can see the artery protrudes quite a bit. The artery is also stiff and very sore to the touch.

I also experience occasional pinching pain in or near the artery, as well as an almost constant dull pain around the incision (which is about 8" long from under my ear to my collar bone). The skin around the incision, including my right ear, is still numb. I am not taking painkillers at this time.

Is this normal, and will it ever return to normal?
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:56 am

User avatar Hi,
As you had undergone the Carotid Endarterectomy in the very recent past, the symptoms and signs that you mention could be the usual post operative sensations that patients tend to feel after surgery.
Of late,the procedure of performing a 'patch angioplasty' while closing the incision in the carotid artery is gaining popularity.This has been shown to decrease the incidence of embolic complications especially in women.A Dacron mesh or a vein patch is commonly used.
There can be a weakness at the area of the patch, but as i said, in your case it is too early to attribute your feelings to 'complications'.
In course of time,as healing of tissues continues, your symptoms hopefully, will get better.If you feel that the problem is getting worse, do not hesitate to consult your neurosurgeon. Good luck!

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