Panama City FL Cardiologists Report Excellent Results for Carotid Artery Disease Patients after Participating in the CHOICE Carotid Artery Stent Registry

Cardiovascular Institute of Northwest Florida continues to successfully perform Carotid Artery Stenting procedures, offering a lower-risk option for patients at risk of stroke due to carotid artery disease.

May 09, 2011 (Panama City, FL) – A clinic of cardiologists in Northwest Florida recognized for innovative and effective procedures, Cardiovascular Institute of Northwest Florida and affiliated hospital Bay Medical Center are reporting excellent outcomes in patients with carotid artery disease treated with Carotid Artery Stenting rather than surgery.

Stroke is the third most common cause of death in the U.S., and the leading cause of serious long-term disability.  Stenosis of the carotid arteries, which supply blood to the brain, is a preventable cause of stroke.  Now, Panama City FL cardiologists  perform carotid stenting to help prevent potentially devastating strokes or mini-strokes.  Local cardiologists Dr. Amir Haghighat and Dr. Samir Patel are utilizing carotid stenting in Northwest Florida patients who are eligible (and in the only carotid stent registry in the Bay County area) instead of medication only or surgery.

In this procedure, a stent (a small tube) is placed in the carotid artery to increase blood flow to the brain.  The stent is left in place to keep the artery open.  The procedure is completed in less than an hour, and typically requires only one night stay in the hospital.

Patients who are “high surgical risk” for carotid surgery may benefit from this procedure.  For example, patients with significant heart disease, recent heart attack, upcoming open heart surgery, severe lung disease, or other significant illnesses, may have been too high risk for surgery because they might do poorly under general anesthesia and subsequently be at increased risk for surgical complications.  Since stenting does not require general anesthesia, these patients now have another option and new hope.  Some patients are poor surgical candidates based on anatomical considerations, such as prior neck radiation or injury.  These patients may also be candidates for carotid stenting.

In 2004 carotid stenting was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an alternative treatment for patients who are were at a high risk for surgical correction of carotid artery disease. However, last Friday, May 6, 2011 the FDA further expanded this approval to include all patients at a high risk for stroke – not just limited to only those who are ineligible for surgery. This approval was based off of the results of a 10-year study which demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of carotid stenting.

Out of 80 carotid stent procedures performed at the Cardiovascular Institute of Northwest Florida, there has not been a single stroke or mini stroke.  Moreover, surgical complications, such as cranial nerve palsy, wound infection or bleeding in the neck, do not occur with carotid stents.

Any patient with carotid blockage should feel reassured to know that the Cardiovascular Institute of Northwest Florida (formerly Cardiology Associates) is a participant in a carotid stent registry with a proven track record of excellence, setting the bar for carotid care in the community and surrounding areas.  Many patients have remarked that this provides them with a sense of comfort and security.

About the Cardiovascular Institute of Northwest Florida

Founded in 1977, The Cardiovascular Institute of Northwest Florida – formerly Cardiology Associates – is nine Cardiologists with a singular commitment to comprehensive cardiovascular care in the areas of non-invasive and invasive cardiology.  This includes coronary, peripheral and neurovascular angiography and intervention as well as cardiac electrophysiology.  Enrolling physicians, Dr. Amir Haghighat and Dr. Samir Patel of the Cardiovascular Institute of Northwest Florida, are board certified interventional cardiologists who have performed over 80 carotid stent procedures at Bay Medical Center.

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