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If you have recently been to the doctor for a stroke or heart screening, you may have been told that you were at risk for a stroke. This could be due to your eating habits, weight, or even prior medical history dealing with vascular diseases. If you are trying to find ways to prevent, or reduce, the chances of a stroke then you likely want to see a vascular surgeon. What you may not know is how the surgeon can actually help you with your stroke concerns.
One of the ways your vascular surgeon may choose to help you with your stroke concerns is to use a carotid ultrasound. What this ultrasound does is diagnose carotid artery disease, which can lead to strokes. It specifically looks for plague build up in the arteries and if that build-up is severe enough to warrant surgery to clear the area or to reconstruct the area and prevent a stroke from occurring. This is an in office procedure that can be done at your vascular surgeons office, if it is equipped for ultrasounds, or by referral to a local ultrasound facility.
There are multiple angiography procedures your surgeon can perform in order to determine a proper treatment plan for your specific needs. The first option may be a carotid angiography. This particular form of procedure is done through x-rays and in cases were an ultrasound may not have shown significant signs of plague build-up. If the ultrasound did show signs of build-up, your surgeon may opt for a magnetic angiography to take pictures of the area by using magnets and radio waves. A third option is the computed tomography angiography procedure which gives a 3-D imaging of the area.
Constructing a Treatment Plan
With the tests out of the way, your vascular surgeon will then take the results and construct a treatment plan based on your lifestyle issues and the results of the tests. This could mean a few lifestyle and diet changes, or it could lead to some form of surgery. This is the time that your surgeon may also refer you to other professionals to help with the changes, physical therapy if necessary, and with nutritionists if you require a diet change.
If you are concerned about the treatment plan your vascular surgeon sets out for you, remember to voice those concerns early on. In some cases, they may be able to change some items on the treatment plan to give you a more realistic plan for your lifestyle and needs.