Roto-Rooter: Reassessing stroke surgery

Reassessing stroke surgery

This year alone, more than 100,000 Americans will undergo carotid endarterectomy, a Roto-Rooter-like procedure designed to scoop fatty blockages from the carotid artery in the neck. The operation is intended to reduce the chance of stroke by allowing blood to flow more freely through the carotid to the brain. There is just one problem, bluntly stated last week at an American Heart Association meeting by Dr. Mark Dyken, chief of neurology at Indiana University: "No careful study has ever shown any conclusive benefit." Of more concern, according to a survey conducted by Dyken and Statistician Robert Pokras, the operation carries a...

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