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Carotid Artery Disease

The major arteries of the neck, the carotid arteries, supply the brain with blood. Carotid artery disease occurs when these arteries become narrowed or blocked.  Carotid artery disease is a serious health problem because it can cause a stroke.

Symptoms of Carotid Artery Disease

Most people do not know they have carotid artery disease as it is often without symptoms. They are at greater risk for stroke without knowing.  

There are warning symptoms of a stroke called transient ischemic attacks, or TIAs. Symptoms of a TIA usually last for a few minutes to 1 hour and include:

  • Weakness, numbness, or a tingling sensation on one side of your body
  • Loss of control of the movement of an arm or a leg
  • Losing vision in one eye
  • Being unable to speak clearly

If you experience a TIA, it could mean that you are at serious risk of a stroke in the near future. You should report TIA symptoms to your doctor immediately. 

Causes of Carotid Artery Disease

Causes may include:

  • History of smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of hardening of the arteries

Diagnostic Testing 

There are some common diagnostic tests for carotid artery disease.  They include:

Treatments for Carotid Artery Disease

Based on the results of your diagnostic testing, your treatment may include:

  • Smoking cessation
  • Exercise and weight loss,
  • Medication
  • If necessary, endovascular intervention or surgery. 

Surgery

If the suggested lifestyle modications do not work, surgery may be recommended.

Your vascular surgeon may recommend either of the following surgical procedures to treat your Carotid Artery Disease:

 

                   

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