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August 2003

Surgery too drastic to treat fibromuscular dysplasia in an elderly patient

Arch Surg. 2003;138(8):928. doi:10.1001/archsurg.138.8.928

The "image of the month" in the january 2003 issue of the archives nicely depicts fibromuscular dysplasia of the internal carotid artery.1 However, i disagree with the recommendation for graduated dilatation of the internal carotid artery. the patient was 72 years old and, more importantly, asymptomatic. fibromuscular dysplasia may cause flowrelated symptoms, and, if this problem develops, then dilatation could be performed.2 The recommendation to perform surgery on an asymptomatic 72-year-old with at worst a very slowly progressive disorder is too drastic a solution.