The carotid arteries are the main avenue of blood supply to the brain. Unfortunately, at the branch point of the carotid artery in the neck, atherosclerotic plaque can build up over time. If this plaque ruptures it can cause stroke, with variable consequences. These include arm or leg weakness or altered sensation, facial droop, speech difficulties or visual disturbance. One of the procedures listed below may be warranted, to minimise the risk of future stroke.
This is the most common procedure performed to clean out the carotid artery and prevent stroke. It is performed under general or local anaesthesia and involves an incision in the neck, removal of the carotid plaque and closure of the artery with a synthetic patch. Patients usually stay in hospital two days before returning home.