Carotid Artery Stenosis
What It Is
The carotid artery supplies blood to the brain, and, like other arteries, can develop plaque, which causes stenosis – a narrowing of the blood vessel. Stenosis is one of the leading causes of strokes. Stenosis can also cause a condition called transient ischemic attack, or TIA, which has symptoms similar to a stroke but subsides after a few minutes or hours and there is no brain damage.
• An exam with a stethoscope can pick up sounds that indicate stenosis.
• A carotid duplex scan can then determine the degree of stenosis.
• An MRA, a noninvasive test that uses magnetic resonance imagining, is often used to confirm the diagnosis.
• A contrast angiogram is used as a diagnostic procedure prior to certain treatments.
Conservative management if the stenosis is not severe, and has not met criteria for surgical treatment, the blockage can be monitored with ultrasounds that can be performed in our office.
If the stenosis is severe, then a surgical procedure is indicasted. In this surgical procedure, the vessel is opened and the plaque removed. It is the most common way to treat this problem, and is very effective. Most patients are home within 24-48 hours after the operation.
Angioplasty and Stenting
In this less invasive procedure, a tiny balloon is used to expand the narrowed artery and then a stent, or sleeve, is placed inside the artery to keep it open, allowing normal blood flow.
Your surgeon at Fayette Surgical Associates will discuss the best options for your specific problem.