Medical Breakthroughs: Stent Filter

The Carotid Artery is the main blood vessel in the neck, leading to the brain. When it gets clogged, you can end up wih a stroke. But now there is a less invasive approach to clear the clog.

The new procedure goes along as such: the doctor guides a wire from a blood vessel int he patient's groin, up to the blocked artery. Then the doctor uses a balloon to open the blocked vessel. Once the vessel's open a stent is inserted. It's kind of like placing a small pipe inside the artery to to prevent it from closing up again.

There is a risk to the procedure... During a normal stent procedure there's a 4 to 6 percent chance of causing a stroke. That occurs when a piece of material blocking the artery breaks off and travels to the brain. To decrease the risk the new stent has a filter attached to it.

The filter catches any debris before it goes to the brain during the procedure. Once the stent is in place, the filter is removed. A advantage tot he procedure is the quickery recovery time for patients, many go home within 24 hours.

There is still a small 2 percent risk of a stroke from the procedure. Plus not everyone is a candidate for stent, so if you have a blocked Carotid Artery tlak to your doctor about your options.