Carotid artery disease is a condition in which the major arteries of the neck (carotid arteries) become narrowed or blocked. These arteries provide the main blood supply to the brain. When these arteries become narrowed, the condition is called carotid stenosis.
Carotid artery disease occurs when plaque builds up in the inner lining of the arteries. Plaque may slowly block or narrow the carotid artery, causing a clot to suddenly form. In turn, the clot can lead to a stroke. Risk factors for carotid artery disease include:
While someone with carotid artery disease does not always experience warning signs, symptoms may reveal that of a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), which includes:
First, your doctor will perform a physical exam. Using a stethoscope, he or she will listen for an abnormal sound (called a bruit) in your neck.
A physical exam may also reveal clots in the blood vessels of the eye. If you have ever had a stroke or TIA, a neurological exam will likely reveal other problems.
Tests may include:
To examine the blood vessels in the neck and brain, the following tests may be done:
The first, non-surgical approaches for treating carotid artery disease include:
Your doctor will also recommend checking your carotid artery with annual tests.
Surgical intervention we offer at TriHealth for treating carotid artery disease includes:
We use stenting, which involves the placement of a tiny tube into your carotid artery, to treat abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid artery disease and peripheral vascular disease.
If you have a vascular condition causing artery blockages in the legs, your doctor may recommend drug releasing stents as a treatment option.
This minimally-invasive treatment for carotid artery disease utilizes state-of-the-art technology to minimize the risk of stroke or other complications during surgical treatment.