Carotid Artery Disease

What is Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid Artery Disease is the narrowing or blockage (stenosis) of the carotid arteries, most commonly caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The carotid arteries are two large blood vessels, one at each side of the neck, that supply oxygenated blood and nutrients to the front part of the brain, where thinking, speech, personality, sensory and motor functions reside.

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Symptoms of Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid Artery Disease may progress silently for years without symptoms (asymptomatic), at least for its early stages.

The first symptom may be a warning transient ischemic attack (mini stroke – temporary brain damage) or a stroke (permanent brain damage).

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Diagnosis of Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid Artery Disease shows no symptoms until a transient ischemic attack or stroke happen.

Depending on your medical history, your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination and order an imaging test of the carotid arteries to rule in (or rule out) Carotid Artery Disease.

In case of a confirmed transient ischemic attack or stroke imaging of the carotid arteries will be done immediately.

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Treatment of Carotid Artery Disease

Treatment of Carotid Artery Disease is essential to reduce the risk of stroke.

The treatment depends on the symptoms, the severity of carotid narrowing, the carotid plaque characteristics and your overall physical condition.

It can be lifestyle changes with medical treatment, open surgical repair (carotid endarterectomy) or minimally invasive endovascular repair (carotid stenting).

All three options have a place in contemporary practice and your vascular surgeon will guide you towards the best option.

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vascular health

Vascular Surgeon

Dr. Efthymios (Makis) Avgerinos is a Vascular Surgeon, Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in USA.

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Scientific Editing

Efthymios D. Avgerinos, MD, PhD, FEBVS
Associate Professor of Surgery
Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Pittsburgh
Medical Center Pennsylvania, USA

E-mail: info@vascularhealth.gr