Marie Steele’s Carotid Endarterectomy Gives Her Another Family Christmas

“The procedure saved my life. He saved my life.”

Marie Steele, a 79-year-old Prudenville resident, has nothing but praise to give – not only for the carotid endarterectomy she received, but also of Dr. Omar P. Haqqani, Chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Vascular Health Clinics in Midland, MI, who performed the procedure.

Just shy of two years ago, Marie began to attend local health screenings, where she learned that her left carotid artery – the vascular connection that supplies oxygenated blood to the brain – was 60% plugged with plaque.

“I didn’t realize there was any blockage at all,” Marie said. “A history of stroke runs in my family, but I had been doing just fine without any symptoms at all.”

When she returned months later for another screening, she was told the artery was now 90% plugged, and that she should seek medical attention for the blockage.

Her medical doctor referred her to Dr. Haqqani, who met with Marie in July to assess her condition, and confirm that her left carotid artery had a 90% blockage.

Dr. Haqqani advised that Marie undergo a left carotid endarterectomy to clear the blockage, allowing for improved blood flow to the brain, as well as eliminating the potential risk of stroke.

Marie spoke highly of Dr. Haqqani’s ability to explain the procedure clearly and concisely, all while assuring her of the low risk of complications.

“He was great,” Marie said. “On our first visit, he took a look at my ultrasounds and told me my condition, as well as how severe the blockage was. He told me how things could turn out, and that there was maybe a 1% chance of something going wrong.”

Marie agreed and she underwent the procedure one month later. In a carotid endarterectomy, an incision is made in the affected artery to expose the blockage. Once the blockage is found, the plaque is removed and the artery’s exposed layers are sutured – all done in a matter of 1-2 hours.

After the procedure, as well as a little time spent to recuperate, Marie was sent home and scheduled for a follow-up appointment two weeks later. At her follow-up, a new ultrasound showed that the blockage was resolved and that everything would be okay.

Four months after the procedure now, Marie continues to enjoy a much-earned retirement with her husband, Chuck. At their Prudenville residence, the pair enjoys many hobbies, particularly golfing and deer/rabbit hunting.

As an insurance sales duo for many years, Marie and Chuck found great success not only in their careers, but also with their family, raising three children together, who they’ll be seeing in the next week to celebrate Christmas together.

Thanks to Dr. Haqqani, Marie has the opportunity to spend another Christmas together with her family, feeling better than ever.

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