Carotid Endarterectomy

A carotid endarterectomy is a procedure to remove a blockage of the carotid artery. The blockage may be caused by a build up of plaque inside the vessel wall. The carotid arteries are located in the neck. If the carotid artery becomes blocked, it can affect blood supply to the brain and lead to a stroke.

What symptoms make me a candidate for carotid endarterectomy?

You are eligible for carotid endarterectomy if you have any blockage or narrowing of your carotid arteries. Your physician will let you know if you are a candidate and discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with you.

How is carotid artery blockage diagnosed?

Your physician will most likely perform one of the following painless tests to determine the amount of blockage:

  • Duplex ultrasound
  • Computed tomography (CT scan)
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)
  • Angiography

What can I expect after a carotid endarterectomy?

After surgery, you will stay in the hospital for one to two days. During this time, your physician will closely monitor your progress. After you go home, your physician may recommend that you avoid driving and limit physical activity for several weeks. If you notice any changes in brain function, severe headaches or swelling in the neck, please contact your physician immediately.