Know the Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke

October 29th is World Stroke Day. Make sure that you are up to date with the latest details and education about strokes and how to notice the signs.

Are the Signs of Stroke Always the Same?

The short answer is no. Not all signs of stroke are the same every time. A stroke happens when oxygen from the blood in your body does not reach your brain.

“A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding brain cells. Brain cells die when they no longer receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood or there is sudden bleeding into or around the brain.”
NINDS

Most symptoms come on suddenly and can include:

  • Balance being off-center
  • Sudden feelings of confusion
  • Issues with vision in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty with walking due to dizziness or lack of coordination

Stroke can lead to paralysis, problems with speech, loss of memory, and death. If you feel any or a combination of these symptoms and believe you might be having a stroke, call 911 immediately.

A useful acronym to check for signs of stroke is “Be Fast.”

  • Balance: Sudden loss of balance.
  • Eyes: sudden loss of vision.
  • Face: uneven smile.
  • Arms: weakness in one arm.
  • Speech: slurred speech.
  • Time: call 911 immediately.

Are You at Risk For Carotid Artery Disease?

Up to one-third of strokes are caused by issues with the carotid arteries. Some factors that put a person at risk for carotid artists disease include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Older age
  • History of smoking
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Clogged arteries

It is important to get screened for these risk factors, and this can be as simple as getting an ultrasound or checkup with your doctor.

“I’ve Been Diagnosed With Carotid Artery Disease”

In the event that you have been diagnosed with carotid artery disease, you have more options now for treatment than ever before in history. There are both invasive and non-invasive solutions to help treat you in the process.

Carotid artery disease happens when the carotid arteries experience a build-up of fatty deposits of cholesterol plaque. These build ups narrow the blood vessels, decreasing the blood flow in the body and increasing your risk of stroke.

Some people diagnosed with carotid artery disease are at high risk for surgery, opt into a much less invasive procedure called TCAR.

What is TCAR Surgery?

Transcarotid Artery Revascular (TCAR) is a minimally invasive surgery that treats carotid artery disease. It can also prevent potential future strokes. Strokes can be caused by artery blockage. TCAR is an outpatient procedure that can be performed in the office or at a hospital/surgery center.

TCAR is a patient-friendly, endovascular procedure that incorporates the neuroprotection principles of CEA. It utilizes the ENROUTE® Transcarotid Neuroprotection System to temporarily reverse blood flow away from the brain, collecting any potential debris in the device filter, before returning the blood to a vessel in the leg. With reverse flow neuroprotection established, the ENROUTE® Transcarotid Stent is then implanted in the lesion for long-term plaque stabilization and stroke prevention.

Benefits of TCAR being less invasive

Studies show the following significantly favor TCAR when compared to other more invasive surgeries:

  • Less Myocardial Infarction
  • Less Cranial Nerve Injury
  • Less Time in the Hospital (sometimes less than 1 day)
  • Less Time in the operating room
  • Less Clamp Time
  • Can be done with local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia
  • Less risk of nurse injury
  • A smaller scar
  • Less risk of a heart attack

TCAR Surgery and Vascular Doctors in North Texas

North Texas Surgical Specialists are experts in vascular surgery, including:

Vascular surgery is a surgical subspecialty that manages a variety of conditions like carotid stenosis, peripheral arterial disease, aneurysms, leg swelling, and varicose veins. It also provides temporary and permanent access for dialysis patients. It emphasizes the role of conservative measures with medical therapy and lifestyle modifications prior to proceeding with an intervention. Vascular surgeons can perform minimally invasive catheter-based interventions as well as open surgical procedures. Hence, he can choose the best option for each individual patient as opposed to some other practitioners who can only do catheter-based interventions.

Meet Our Vascular Doctors

Dr. Besem Beteck is a board-certified vascular surgeon serving the Alliance and North Richland Hills areas. He manages and performs procedures with a focus on dialysis access in end-stage renal disease, limb salvage, and peripheral arterial disease, carotid disease, venous disease including deep vein thrombosis and chronic venous insufficiency, peripheral and aortic aneurysms.

Dr. Beteck earned his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. He then completed a General Surgery residency at St Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and a Vascular Surgery fellowship at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.

Dr. Saadi Halbouni is a Vascular Surgeon who is double boarded in Vascular Surgery and General Surgery. He manages and performs multiple procedures to treat patients with carotid stenosis, aneurysms, peripheral arterial disease, varicose veins, leg swelling, and deep venous thrombosis. Also, he provides dialysis access for patients with end-stage renal disease.

Dr. Halbouni joined North Texas Surgical Specialists and currently practices in Fort Worth. Dr. Halbouni tailors a unique treatment plan for each patient that ranges from conservative measures using medical therapy along with exercise and lifestyle modification to minimally invasive catheter-based interventions, to open surgical procedures. Furthermore, he allows patients to have an active role in planning and carrying out their own care by explaining, in-depth, the disease process and the different available treatment options.

North Texas Surgical Specialists

If you need to speak with a vascular doctor or wish to set up an appointment for a screening, please book an appointment today. Our vascular doctors are available from both the Fort Worth, North Richland Hills, and Alliance offices. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you.