Carotid Artery Endarterectomy, Angioplasty and Stenting

Surgical Associates of Marshall County offers treatment for carotid artery disease in Albertville and Guntersville.

Plaque build-up in the carotid arteries can result in carotid artery disease, which restricts blood flow to the brain and puts you at a higher risk of stroke. When surgery is necessary to alleviate severe restriction of the carotid arteries, Surgical Associates of Marshall County can provide safe and effective care with endarterectomy or angioplasty with stenting.

What is Carotid Artery Disease?

The carotid arteries supply blood to the brain. These arteries gradually become clogged with plaque formed by substances like cholesterol and calcium, which can eventually lead to the narrowing and hardening of the veins (atherosclerosis). Clots can form on this plaque, and if a clot or piece of plaque breaks free and reaches the brain, this can result in stroke.

Carotid artery disease often does not produce symptoms and may only be noticed when a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA; also known as mini-stroke) occurs. In the event of a stroke or TIA, you may notice symptoms like:

  • Numbness in the limbs or face (may occur on only one side of the body)
  • Difficulty with seeing (may occur in one eye or both eyes)
  • Headache (may be sudden and/or severe)
  • Difficulty with speaking or comprehension
  • Dizziness

If these symptoms last only a short time (often less than an hour), it may be a TIA, which is a temporary reduction of blood flow to the brain and indicates a high potential for stroke. If you notice the signs of a stroke or TIA, it is imperative to seek emergency care immediately.

Treatment with Carotid Artery Stenting and Bypass

Though more conservative treatments like lifestyle changes and medications may be used to treat mild blockage of the carotid arteries, TIA and stroke indicate serious blockage and may necessitate surgery.

  • Carotid endarterectomy is used to surgically remove the plaque and inner lining of the affected area of the artery. A patch may also be put in place to widen the artery.
  • Carotid angioplasty and stenting can be used to reduce blockage and strengthen the arteries. During this procedure, a small balloon is inserted at the area of the clog and inflated to flatten the plaque and open up the artery. Then, a cylindrical piece of wire mesh known as a stent is put in place to strengthen the artery and prevent it from constricting.

Using diagnostic procedures and a close examination of your arteries, your surgeon will be able to determine which surgical treatment will be most effective in treating carotid artery disease.

To learn more about carotid artery disease treatments available at Surgical Associates of Marshall County, please call 256-840-5547 (Albertville) or 256-571-8734 (Guntersville) or complete our online contact form.