Carotid Artery Disease Treatment
We specialize in treating a wide array of venous disorders, utilizing our four non-invasive vascular.
Carotid endarterectomy is an operation during which your vascular surgeon removes the inner lining of your carotid artery if it has become thickened or damaged. This procedure eliminates a substance called plaque from your artery and can restore blood flow.
As you age, plaque can build up in the walls of your arteries. Cholesterol, calcium, and fibrous tissue make up this plaque. As more plaque builds up, your arteries narrow and stiffen. This process is called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Eventually, enough plaque builds up to reduce blood flow through your carotid arteries, or to cause irregularities in the normally smooth inner walls of the arteries.
Your carotid arteries are located on each side of your neck and extend from your aorta in your chest to enter the base of your skull. These important arteries supply blood to your brain.
- Stroke occurs in 2–3% of patients with no pre-procedure symptoms; in 5–7% of patients with pre-procedure symptoms such as stroke, mini-stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack). After the operation you will be asked to move your arms and legs and be examined by nurses and doctors to make sure that you have not had any new stroke symptoms.
- Heart attack
- Nerve damage, affecting your voice box, tongue or back
- Discuss your condition with family members or other individuals you have designated to participate in medical decisions.
- Ask your vascular surgeon whether to continue or modify scheduled medications.
- Expect to be in the hospital 1–2 days, longer if complications develop, in which case a stay at a rehabilitation facility may be needed.
- You will have a sore throat and the skin around the incision on your neck will be numb. This will improve over time.
- You will see your vascular surgeon and have a carotid ultrasound to look at the artery. This will be done yearly to make sure the plaque has not accumulated again.
- You may wish to eat smooth, soft foods like soup and yogurt for a while before returning to your normal diet.
- Driving is usually permitted once pain medicine is stopped and you can easily turn your head to check your surroundings on the road and safely merge with traffic.
Different Vascular Treatments
Many vascular conditions are quite manageable, if you see a physician early. Vascular surgery and procedures are improving all the time, and sometimes no surgery is necessary. For example, in the early stages of peripheral arterial disease, the prescription is just to take regular walks. Read more about treatments on the left.