Carotid Artery Blockage & Disease

We can diagnose and treat this life-threatening condition.

What Is Carotid Artery Disease?

Carotid artery disease occurs when fatty deposits (plaques) clog the blood vessels that deliver blood to your brain and head (carotid arteries). The blockage increases your risk of stroke, a medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or seriously reduced.

Carotid artery disease develops slowly. The first sign that you have the condition may be a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).

A lack of blood flow to the brain from stroke or TIA deprives your brain of oxygen. Stroke is the most common cause of death and the leading cause of permanent disability in the United States.

carotid artery disease

We are skilled at detecting and repairing the condition.

Consider a screening to see if you are at risk.

How Do We Detect a Carotid Blockage or Carotid Artery Disease?

In its early stages, carotid artery disease often doesn’t produce any signs or symptoms. The condition may go unnoticed until it’s serious enough to deprive your brain of blood, causing a stroke or TIA. However, we can screen for the problem at any time. If you have risk factors for the condition, we can perform a non-invasive ultrasound procedure to detect the condition.

How Do We Treat a Carotid Blockage or Carotid Artery Disease?

The goal in treating carotid artery disease is to prevent stroke. Specific treatments depend on the extent of blockage in your carotid arteries.

If blockage is mild to moderate, Pinellas Vascular may recommend:

  • Lifestyle changes to slow the progression of atherosclerosis. Recommendations may include quitting smoking, losing weight, eating healthy foods, reducing salt and exercising regularly.
  • Medication to control blood pressure or lower cholesterol. Your doctor may also recommend taking a daily aspirin or other blood-thinning medication to prevent blood clots.

If blockage is severe, or if you’ve already had a TIA or stroke, your doctor may recommend removing the blockage from the artery. The options include:

  • Carotid endarterectomy, the most common treatment for severe carotid artery disease. After making an incision along the front of your neck, the surgeon opens the affected carotid artery and removes the plaques. The artery is repaired with either stitches or a graft.
  • Carotid angioplasty and stenting, if the blockage is too difficult to reach with carotid endarterectomy or you have other health conditions that make surgery too risky. You are given local anesthesia and a tiny balloon is threaded by catheter to the area of the clog. The balloon is inflated to widen the artery, and a small wire mesh coil (stent) is inserted to keep the artery from narrowing again.

Looking for additional Information?

View our printable information on Carotid Artery Disease that we provide in conjunction with the Society for Vascular Surgery, of which Dr. Mathew is a recommended member.

When you are ready to discuss treatment options, we look forward to scheduling a consultation with you.

Have A Question?

Pinellas Vascular is ready to assist you with your vascular condition or concern. Send us a message and we will get back with you quickly.

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