Carotid Artery Dissection Treatment Can Prevent Severe Strokes

A carotid artery dissection requires treatment as immediately as possible to prevent an ischemic stroke. When a major artery leading to the brain ruptures, usually from trauma such as a sports injury, rigorous gymnastics, or a car crash, blood begins to leak out into the wall of the artery and can become trapped there. As the blood collects in the arterial wall, it separates, or dissects, the layers of the wall, which can lead to a clot that restricts blood flow at the site of the tear or breaks off and blocks the blood flow deeper into another artery leading to the brain. Some of the pre-stroke symptoms of a carotid artery dissection that are important to look for include neck swelling, severe migraine-like headaches, and pulsatile tinnitus, which is hearing one’s own heartbeat. Especially after any kind of head trauma, any person displaying such symptoms or the signs of a stroke, which include facial drooping, loss of eyesight, and muscle weakness, should call 9-1-1 immediately for transportation to the nearest comprehensive stroke treatment center, where a treatment plan may include:

  • Anti-coagulation or blood-thinning medication to prevent blood clot formation, thereby minimizing stroke risk
  • Angioplasty to repair the damaged area of the artery
  • Stent insertion to hold the artery open in the affected area

Tampa General Hospital is one of the most prominent comprehensive stroke treatment centers in Florida and was the first facility on the state’s west coast to receive national accreditation from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program. Our multispecialty stroke team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide emergency diagnosis and treatment for carotid artery dissection and other stroke-related conditions, as well as rehabilitative care for patients who experience a stroke.