Superstar Rajinikanth underwent carotid artery revascularization, a procedure done to restore blood supply to the brain, As per a statement from Kauvery Hospital, Chennai, the actor was admitted on October 28, “following an episode of giddiness”.
“The procedure was performed successfully today and he is recovering well. He is likely to be discharged from the hospital after a few days,” the statement read.
To understand more about the procedure and what it entails, indianexpress.com reached out to some doctors. Here’s what they said.
Dr Pravin Kahale, consultant-cardiology at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital said carotid artery revascularization is the opening of blockages, thereby improving the blood flow in the carotid arteries. “There are two carotid arteries — in the left and right side of the neck — which supply blood to the brain. This procedure is like angioplasty or carotid angioplasty, that is performed by putting a puncture in the groin or hand artery and placing a stent in the carotid artery to open the blockages,” he explained.
Agreeing with him, Dr Rahul Gupta, consultant-cardiology at Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai, said there are two ways of treating it: either the surgeon opens up the artery and treats the blockage/s, or they do it through endovascular stents. “We need to see which procedure will be more beneficial, and that is discussed with the patient. Based on their preference, and after discussing with neurologists and cardiologists, and coming up with the best method of treatment, the blockage is removed,” he said.
The entire procedure can take between 45 and 60 minutes, and the patient only requires a local anaesthetic if they are going for stenting. They are observed for some time and discharged between 48 and 72 hours.
Dos and don’ts post the procedure
According to Dr Amit Kumar Singhal, senior consultant, cardiology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur, one may require blood thinners during the recovery process, along with some medicines, especially for cholesterol, physiotherapy as per requirement, dietary changes, etc. “If one has a BP/blood sugar problem, the treatment has to be optimised. If someone smokes, they may have to stop, make some lifestyle changes,” he told this outlet.
How urgent is this health problem, and are there any warning signs?
Doctors say, essentially, giddiness itself needs to be treated as a warning sign. Dr Subhendu Mohanty, senior consultant cardiologist at Sharda Hospital, explained the “most catastrophic” implication of it is a “paralytic attack”. “If it comes as a paralytic attack, then not much can be done, because there is already some damage to the brain. Some mild symptoms include dizziness, partial loss of consciousness, darkness in front of the eyes, which can be treated if detected in time. There is a 98-99 per cent success rate in [carotid artery revascularization] procedure and it is quite safe.
“Sometimes what happens is when you put the stent, some debris from it can go along the bloodstream and reach the brain, causing some damage; it happens in 2-3 per cent of cases, and the damage itself is not severe, because there are now these filter devices which we use while putting the stent so that no debris can pass through it,” he said.