Carotid Artery Surgery

When plaque builds up in the carotid arteries in your neck and slows or blocks the blood flowing to your brain, you’re at risk of having a stroke. There are several procedures used to treat carotid artery disease by removing blockages and restoring blood flow.

Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA)

In this surgery, a vascular surgeon opens your carotid artery along the front of your neck and removes the plaque that is clogging the artery. The artery is then repair with sutures or a patch made with a vein or a patch graft (made with artificial material).

You may be a candidate for CEA if you have already had a stroke, a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or if the blockage in your carotid artery is severe.

This procedure usually takes a couple of hours and may require a 1 to 2 day stay in the hospital.

Carotid Artery Angioplasty & Stenting

In carotid angioplasty and stenting, a vascular surgeon threads a long catheter with a small balloon through an artery in your groin up to the clogged artery in your neck. The balloon is inflated to open the narrowed artery and a metal mesh stent may be inserted to keep the artery open. The stent will remain in your carotid artery.

Carotid artery stenting normally takes about 1-2 hours, but may take longer depending on the serverity of the blockage.  After the procedure, you will lie flat for several hours without bending your knees to prevent bleeding from the incision site.

TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR)

TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) is a minimally invasive option for high patients who need carotid artery treatment and are at risk of stroke with an open surgery. While any repair of the carotid artery carries some risk of causing a stroke because of the repair itself, TCAR is designed to minimize that risk by keeping potential stroke causing fragments away from the brain.

During the TCAR procedure, a tube is inserted into the carotid artery and connected to a system that temporarily directs blood flow away from the brain to protect against dangerous debris from reaching the brain during the procedure. The vascular surgeon then filters the blood before returning it to a vein in the groin, and a stent is implanted directly into the carotid artery to stabilize the plaque and prevent future strokes.

For more information about TCAR, please visit our TCAR webpage.