Frequently Asked Questions for Carotid Artery Disease

What type of doctors provide treatment for carotid artery disease

Doctors providing treatments for carotid artery disease include interventional radiologists and neurologists, neurosurgeons and vascular surgeons. Only the vascular surgeon is familiar with the entire range of vascular diseases and all treatment alternatives, thus can offer you an unbiased treatment.

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If I have an abnormal result at the carotid artery screening, does this mean I will need surgery?

Certainly not. An abnormal finding during physical exam of the carotid arteries can be a sound heard with a stethoscope called carotid bruit and if a carotid ultrasound is done this may reveal atherosclerotic lesions (hardening of the arteries).

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How does my brain get blood while you are operating on the carotid artery?

There are several blood vessels capable of bringing blood to the brain while the operated artery is clamped for repair. These may be the contralateral carotid artery and the two vertebral arteries, all merging together to form a circle inside the brain.

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If I have surgery for carotid artery disease and the blockage (plaque) is removed, am I still at risk for stroke?

Carotid surgery will reduce but not eliminate the risk of future stroke. Carotid artery disease is roughly associated to 1/3 of all strokes. Strokes can otherwise occur as a result of other conditions such as atrial fibrillation, atherosclerosis of the small brain vessels or intracranial bleed.

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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.


Scientific Editing

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