Helping Your Loved One Prevent A Second Stroke

23 May 2016
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog

When you have a loved one who has suffered from a stroke but survived, you may be equally relieved and worried about them at the same time. If a person has suffered from a stroke once, they have a higher chance of having another one than a person who has never had a stroke. In fact, even five years after surviving a stroke a person will have around a 40 percent risk of having another stroke. Because of these facts, you should get to know some of the ways that your loved one can work to prevent another stroke in their future. 

Stop Drinking Alcohol And/Or Smoking

If your loved one is a smoker or a person who tends to drink alcohol on a regular basis (or in high quantities), one of the best ways that they can prevent a future second stroke is to stop partaking in these unhealthy habits. Both can have a major effect on the risk of suffering from a stroke as well as contribute to other health conditions that cause strokes.

Smoking tobacco products has a major effect on your cardiovascular system. It damages blood cells and increases a person's risk of developing blood clots. It can also cause the buildup of a waxy plaque in the arteries that makes it harder and harder for the body to properly circulate blood. The development of blood clots that could cause a stroke is possible and the cardiovascular symptoms and conditions smoking can cause all increase the risk of suffering from a stroke.

Alcohol, on the other hand, is high in sugar content and can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. A person with type 2 diabetes is at high risk for a stroke because the condition can cause high blood pressure and cholesterol. Both of these issues can cause a stroke. As such, the cessation of alcohol and tobacco products can significantly reduce your loved one's risk.

Consider Vascular Surgery

If your loved one already has significantly clogged or blocked arteries, one of the best ways to prevent another stroke is for a surgeon to perform vascular surgery to open up the arteries and get rid of the plaque and blockages. One such vascular surgery, known as a carotid endarterectomy, removes moderate to severe blockages from the carotid artery.

The carotid artery is one of the major arteries in your body and runs through your neck to supply the blood to your brain, neck, and head. There are two carotid arteries on either side of your neck, one of which supplies the blood to the brain. This is the artery that a vascular surgeon focuses on in a carotid endarterectomy. A small incision in your neck allows the surgeon to put a small tube (catheter) in your vein and get to the blockage. They will then remove the plaque in your carotid, graft the artery closed and close your incision.

Other similar vascular procedures on other arteries can also help with the risk of repeated strokes. However, a blockage in the carotid artery puts a person at high risk for strokes and should be dealt with immediately if found to be an issue.

Now that you know a few of the ways that your loved one can prevent suffering from another stroke after they made it through the first one, you can be sure that you are doing everything you can to encourage them to take care of their health and take stroke prevention seriously from now on.

For more information, contact a company like Cedar Surgical Associates PC.