JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Carotid bypass: a safe and durable solution for recurrent carotid stenosis.

BACKGROUND: The long-term results of carotid artery stenting (CAS) for post-carotid endarterectomy (CEA) restenosis are disappointing (4-year patency rates: ∼75%). Since 1988, our group has offered carotid bypass (CB) as an alternative to redo CEA and later also to CAS in this setting. The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate early and late outcomes associated with CB in this population.

METHODS: Data were collected from patients treated with CB in the year 2000-2012 for significant/symptomatic post-CEA restenosis (or intra-stent restenosis [ISR] after CAS for post-CEA restenosis). All patients had good life expectancy. CB was performed under loco-regional anesthesia. With the aid of sequential vessel clamping, the graft (great saphenous vein [GSV] or polytetrafluoroethylene) was anastomosed with the common carotid artery (side-to-end) and the distal internal carotid artery (end-to-side). Patients were followed with clinical and duplex scan assessments at 1, 3, and 6 months and yearly thereafter.

RESULTS: The study population comprised 21 patients (mean age 67.3 years; 17 men). CB was performed for post-CEA restenosis (or ISR after CAS for post-CEA restenosis, n=3) 51.2 months (mean) after the previous operation. GSV grafts were used in half of the cases (n=11; 52.4%); temporary shunting was used in 4 (19%) patients. Intraoperative complications (none fatal) occurred in 4 (19%) patients (3 transient peripheral nerve injuries, 1 cervical hematoma). During follow-up (mean 64.8 months), there were no neurologic complications or restenoses. Overall mortality was 33.3% (6 deaths from acute myocardial infarctions, 1 from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm).

CONCLUSIONS: For post-CEA restenosis (or ISR after CAS for post-CEA restenosis), CB offers superior long-term patency rates than CAS (or redo angioplasty) and an acceptable risk of cranial nerve damage.

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