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Preparation

Before being admitted for surgery, you'll have a careful preoperative assessment.

If a carotid endarterectomy has been arranged in advance, the assessment will usually be carried out at a hospital pre-assessment clinic a few days before you're due to have the procedure.

In some cases, you'll be asked to attend the pre-assessment clinic on the day of the operation.

Alternatively, you may be seen at a specialist clinic if you have recently had a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

You'll have tests to check the health of your arteries, and you may be admitted for surgery immediately if your carotid arteries are found to be severely narrowed.

Pre-admission clinic

You'll have a physical examination and be asked about your medical history at a pre-admission clinic. Any further tests or investigations that are needed will also be carried out at this time.

The pre-admission clinic is a good opportunity for you to ask your treatment team about the procedure, although you can discuss any concerns you have at any time.

If you're taking any medication (prescribed or otherwise), it's a good idea to bring it with you to the pre-admission clinic so the details can be noted.

You'll be asked whether you have had anaesthetic (painkilling medication) in the past and whether you experienced any side effects, such as feeling sick.

You'll also be asked whether you're allergic to anything to avoid a reaction to any medication you may need during your treatment.

Your treatment team will ask you about your teeth, including whether you wear dentures, have caps or a plate.

This is because during the operation you may need to have a tube put down your throat to help you breathe, and loose teeth could be dangerous.

Preparing for surgery

Before having a carotid endarterectomy, your surgeon will discuss how you should prepare.

They may advise you to:

Read more about preparing for surgery.

Hospital checklist

If you're going into hospital to have surgery, you may find the following list of things to take useful: 

Most hospitals can cater for most types of diet, including religious requirements. But you may want to take a few healthy snacks and drinks with you.