Carotid Disease

Carotid stenosis is a narrowing of the carotid arteries, which are paired blood vessels in the right and left neck that supply blood to the brain. Carotid artery disease most commonly happens due to atherosclerosis, which is a build up of plaque within the walls of the blood vessels. There are many known risk factors for the development of atherosclerosis including smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and genetics (family history). Once the narrowing becomes severe, it can impede blood flow to the brain or result in pieces of plaque breaking off and traveling to the blood vessels in the brain, which results in a stroke. Carotid artery disease may be managed with medications or require a procedure to open up the blockage. One method for opening up the narrowing is endovascularly, or minimally invasively through the wrist or leg, using a stent to restore blood flow to the brain. Alternatively the atherosclerosis may be removed surgically by making an incision in the neck and wall of the artery, a procedure called a carotid endarterectomy.

Am I a candidate for Carotid Disease Treatment?

The decision to treat carotid disease with medications or with a procedure depends on a number of factors including patient age, medical conditions, the severity of the narrowing, and symptoms caused by the narrowing.

What can I expect from Carotid Disease Treatment?

At MRA, we offer a minimally invasive solution to treat carotid artery disease using a technique known as angioplasty and stenting. This technique has been around for decades and has been well studied. The procedure is performed through the wrist or leg without the need to make an incision. Using the arteries of the arms and legs as a conduit, we are able to access the carotid arteries in the neck and open them up using devices such as a balloon and/or stent. The procedure is not painful and most patients tolerate it well using sedation, which avoids the risks that are associated with general anesthesia. The recovery from the procedure is short. Most patients spend one night in the hospital and can go home the next day. You may be sore at the site of the procedure in the wrist or leg, but there are no stitches or incisions and patients can return to their normal activities within the first few days after the procedure.