Carotid Artery Disease Treatment and Management
Treatment and Management in Arizona
Carotid Artery disease is the narrowing of the arteries due to a build-up of plaque consisting of cholesterol, calcium and fibrous tissue. As this plaque continues to increase over time, your arteries narrow and stiffen - a process called atherosclerosis. When left untreated, carotid artery disease may lead to a stroke. If you have a predisposition to this condition due to genetics, lifestyle or age there are some preventative measures that you can take to reduce your risk of the condition worsening and leading to a medical crisis. Your doctor may also make recommendations regarding surgical treatments that can remove this plaque from the arteries to restore healthy blood flow.
When the artery is more than 50-60% blocked by plaque and build-up along the arterial walls, your doctor may suggest a carotid endarterectomy. This is the most common surgical procedure used to treat carotid artery disease and involves a small incision on the neck near the carotid artery. Your surgeon temporarily clamps your carotid artery to stop blood from flowing through it while they access the artery and remove the blockage. This procedure is typically an outpatient service, with some discomfort and aftercare, and little recovery time needed.
Angioplasty and Stenting
In many cases we recommend angioplasty and stenting to treat carotid artery disease. Angioplasty involves a similar incision in the neck near the artery and the insertion of a small balloon through a needle. The balloon is then inflated, to widen the artery and restore blood flow. A stent is inserted to reinforce the arterial walls and maintain the increased circulation and improved blood flow. The recovery time is minimal.