How does my brain get blood while you are operating on the carotid artery?

There are several blood vessels capable of bringing blood to the brain while the operated artery is clamped for repair. These may be the contralateral carotid artery and the two vertebral arteries, all merging together to form a circle inside the brain. If any of these arteries is blocked or clamped the other ones will maintain adequate blood flow most of the times.

The vascular surgeon and his or her team can assess with various techniques and intraoperative monitoring the adequacy of the brain perfusion and if he or she judges that it may not be enough, a temporary shunt (plastic tube) can be placed inside the carotid artery above and below the blockage to permit continuation of flow to the brain, while the plaque is removed.

vascular health

Vascular Surgeon

Dr. Efthymios (Makis) Avgerinos is a Vascular Surgeon, Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in USA.


Scientific Editing

Efthymios D. Avgerinos, MD, PhD, FEBVS
Associate Professor of Surgery
Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Pittsburgh
Medical Center Pennsylvania, USA