Carotid artery disease is a primary risk factor for having a stroke. If you struggle with carotid artery disease, proper monitoring and treatment are crucial. At Vascular Surgery Specialists in Phoenix, Arizona, board-certified vascular and endovascular surgeons are experts at the medical and surgical management of the disease. They offer endarterectomy, transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR), and transfemoral carotid stenting. Schedule an appointment by phone or book online today to learn more.
Carotid artery disease happens when fatty deposits clog blood vessels that deliver blood to your head and brain. This type of blockage increases your risk of having a stroke, which is a medical emergency that deprives your brain of oxygen. Treatment often involves medications, lifestyle changes, or surgery.
In the early stages of carotid artery disease, you likely won’t experience any symptoms. But as the disease progresses, it can cause a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA is a temporary shortage of blood flow to your brain.
Signs and symptoms of a TIA or stroke include:
These symptoms indicate a medical emergency. Seek medical attention right away if you or a loved one experience them.
While anybody can develop carotid artery disease, certain factors increase your risk. Examples include using tobacco, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Other risk factors include obesity, older age, having sleep apnea, and a family history of carotid artery disease.
To diagnose carotid artery disease and establish the most effective treatment, your Vascular Surgery Specialists provider reviews your personal and family medical history and symptoms you may have. They complete a medical examination and might recommend you undergo a CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, or angiography to make a final diagnosis.
Your personalized treatment plan depends on the type and severity of your condition. Your vascular specialist might recommend:
Making lifestyle changes can slow the progression of carotid artery disease. Avoid smoking, maintain a healthy weight, eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, and reduce sodium in your diet.
Taking certain medications can help you better control high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are two common stroke risk factors.
With carotid endarterectomy, your specialist makes an incision near the front part of your neck. They open your carotid artery to remove plaque buildup, repair the artery with stitches or a graft, and close the incision.
TCAR is a minimally invasive procedure in which your surgeon reverses blood flow to lower your risk of a stroke. They insert a special device into your artery to temporarily reverse blood flow and divert bits of broken-off plaque away from your brain.
During transfemoral carotid stenting, your provider inserts a tiny balloon attached to a catheter into a clogged artery to widen it. They insert a stent into the blood vessel to keep it open.
Don’t let carotid artery disease go undetected or untreated. Lower your risk of having a stroke by scheduling an appointment with Vascular Surgery Specialists by phone or online today.