My PCP referred me to Dr. Waltke, a vascular surgeon, for his expert advice on whether there was any preventative care that could be taken to prevent another stroke. He disagreed that the anomaly in my right vertebral artery caused the stroke.
He told me about how the vertebral arteries join back together in the brain and that the area of my brain that was swollen is after that join. (Although, looking through the scans it seems to me that the join in much higher in the head. Maybe I heard him wrong.)
So, even if my left vertebral artery was twisted, pinched, abnormal the right vertebral artery would have supplied the blood needed to that part of the brain.In fact, the spot where it tapers and then bulges that everyone, including myself, suspected was the culprit wasn’t of concern to him.
He mentioned my Circle of Willis, like 40% of the population, wasn’t complete and the front and rear arteries didn’t join together. This wasn’t the cause, but if they were joined there’s a chance I wouldn’t have had the stroke.
Dr. Waltke thought there was probably something that “broke off [from the side of an artery]” and clogged the artery to that part of the brain. At this point I’m hoping my brother can call him and get a better understanding. I’m not a doctor and I don’t remember all that he said.