Health Watch - Stroke: Surgical Candidates

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about preventing strokes. Previously, we discussed how a surgical procedure that can help prevent stroke may also cause a stroke. How can doctors and patients decide when surgery is more necessary than risky?

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have developed a set of guidelines to help doctors and patients decide when a potentially risky operation to clear cholesterol plaques out of the arteries that supply blood to the brain is worth the risk. They reviewed thousands of cases to see which kinds of patients had the most benefit and the most risk from the surgery.

Dr. Ethan Halm, a UT Southwestern stroke expert, says patients who don’t yet have symptoms from clogged arteries receive less benefit from surgery and may get better results from medical treatment. Patients with a greater risk of having a stroke may receive more benefit, and factors like gender, age, race and medical history also come into play.

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February 2011


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