Saturday’s News & Observer included an Associated Press article about the usage of stents to open blocked carotid arteries. Wake Heart & Vascular Associates’ Drs. Ravish Sachar and Matt Hook were very involved in the study described in the story. For the study, they examined the safety of using stents in carotid arteries.
Stents have long been used to fix heart arteries but have only been FDA approved for use in the neck in patients for whom surgery may be too risky.
The new study results were exceedingly positive and it has been shown that more patients can be safely treated using carotid stenting instead of the more invasive surgical options to open a blocked carotid artery. Now, work has begun to get Medicare and the insurance companies to cover carotid stenting.