Harbour Vascular - Dr Mayo Theivendran
Harbour Vascular Laboratory
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Carotid Endarterectomy

After surgery care

What is a carotid endarterectomy?

A carotid endarterectomy involves an incision in the front of the neck to expose the diseased carotid artery and peels away the plaque from the artery wall. The artery is patched with an artificial material or a piece of vein from another part of the body. The incision is then stitched.

What are some benefits from having a carotid endarterectomy?

A carotid endarterectomy can significantly lower the risk of having a major stroke in people who have moderate to severe blockage in the artery and have suffered a minor stroke. For those who have not experienced a stroke or TIA, a carotid endarterectomy is only performed if there is a near occlusion of the vessel.

What are some common symptoms following a carotid endarterectomy?
Post Op Stocking


You can expect to have a sore throat, or sore throat trouble swallowing for days or weeks after surgery.

Post Op Stocking


You may experience numbness in the incision area, and this can linger for several months.

Post Op Stocking


Fatigue is also common after surgery, so it’s important to get plenty of rest.

How should I look after myself when I get home from surgery?


Although patients can typically resume a normal diet when they return home, you may want to favor soft, bland foods until the discomfort is gone.

Driving & Exercise


Although patients can typically resume a normal diet when they return home, you may want to favor soft, bland foods until the discomfort is gone.

Returning to work


Most people are able to return to work and resume most normal activities between 2 and 4 weeks after surgery. But recovery can take longer for older patients or those who have ongoing health conditions: e.g. hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

What are some ongoing life changes I can make to reduce my risk of a stroke?

A number of modifiable lifestyle factors can contribute to the development of plaque, so to reduce the risk of continued carotid artery disease, your doctors may recommend that you make some changes in your diet and lifestyle

Control blood pressure


High blood pressure, or hypertension, plays a major role in heart disease and atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Controlling blood pressure through diet and exercise, or with medication, can help prevent a return of plaque.

Lower cholesterol


Cholesterol is a major ingredient in artery plaque. Keeping cholesterol levels low with diet or medications can reduce the risk of new plaque buildup in a cleared artery or the development of plaque in other blood vessels.



Lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to the stiffening of artery walls, circulation problems and cardiovascular disease. Regular, moderate exercise, as your health permits, can help prevent the buildup of plaque.

Eat a healthy diet


An unhealthy diet can contribute to the buildup of plaque. A healthy diet low in sodium, saturated fats and sugars — and high in vegetables, fruits and healthy fats can help keep weight and blood pressure down and cholesterol low.

Lose excess weight


Obesity plays a major role in cardiovascular disease as well as other health conditions, so maintaining a healthy weight for your age and body type can help reduce the risk of plaque buildup, heart attack and stroke.

Quit smoking


Smoking hardens and narrows arteries and contributes to many other health problems, so stopping is an important step toward keeping your heart and arteries healthy.


If you have any questions in the period after (or prior to) your surgery, or if you notice any of the following conditions: painful or red wounds, increasing pain, or swelling, please contact our office at any time.


If you have any concerns and are unable to reach out offices, please contact the hospital and ask them to contact Dr Theivendran directly. For urgent concerns requiring immediate attention, please present to your nearest hospital's casualty department, for emergent assessment.

For appointments and enquiries:

Monday - Friday: 8:00am to 5:00pm
Fax: (02) 9182 7533

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