Carotid Artery Disease

Conditions and Procedures
What is the condition of

Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid artery disease (CAD) is a process in which the carotid arteries become narrowed by a build-up of fatty plaque (atherosclerosis).

The Carotid arteries are paired arteries that take blood from the heart , via your neck to the brain.

What are the symptoms of Carotid Artery Disease?

Most patients who have carotid artery disease have no symptoms. However, in some patients, it can cause symptoms of a stroke, mini-stroke or visual disturbance. If you have any of these symptoms call an ambulance – time is critical if you are having a stroke.

What treatments are available for

Carotid Artery Disease

The treatment options are dependent upon the severity of symptoms, where the disease is and the extent of disease. Dr Altaf will take a full history and examination to look at all the co-morbidities to decide what treatment would be recommended. The options include:

Medical management

The choice of medical treatment depends on the presentation and the patient co-morbidities.  You are likely to be started on a blood thinner, something to control your cholesterol and blood pressure. Other risk factors that would also be managed include stopping smoking, losing weight and exercising. Ultrasound surveillance to monitor the progression of carotid disease is an option in some patients.

Surgery

Carotid Endarterectomy

Carotid endarterectomy is an open surgical operation to remove the plaque from the carotid artery. It can be performed under a local or general anaesthetic and involves using a 8-12 cm incision along the side of the neck.

After clearing the carotid artery out, the artery is closed using a patch to keep the artery open.

Post operatively, the patient will be in ICU and usually in hospital for 48 hours.

Carotid Stenting

Carotid Stenting is a minimally invasive procedure that allows the insertion of a stent across the blockage in the carotid artery. This is usually delivered through a small incision in the groin under local anaesthetic. .

Most patients stay in ICU for 1 day and in hospital between 2 to 3 days.

Dr Altaf will discuss which option is best for you as many factors determine which procedure is suitable for the individual patient.