Multiple randomised trials over the last decade for both symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid stenosis have proven the efficacy of carotid endarterectomy (CE) in reducing the risk of stroke. The long-term patency of the carotid artery after CE is an important factor in the success of the operation.
The incidence of recurrent carotid stenosis (excluding residual lesions) ranges from 1 to 37% with only 0–8% of patients having restenosis-related symptoms (1). Generally, recurrent carotid stenosis is attributed to myointimal hyperplasia during the early postoperative period (within 3 years) or recurrent atherosclerosis thereafter.
The management of recurrent carotid stenosis after CE remains a dilemma. It is generally accepted that operation for significant recurrent carotid stenosis is indicated for symptomatic patients, and several authors also recommend CE for >80% asymptomatic recurrent stenosis. Treatment of recurrent carotid stenosis involves repeat endarterectomy with patch angioplasty, although more recently endovascular techniques have been used.