Carotid Artery Surgery is used to treat carotid artery disease. Fatty deposits, called plaque, can build up in the carotid artery, both restricting blood flow to your brain and acting as a source for small pieces of plaque that can be carried up into the brain, potentially causing a stroke. There are different procedures surgeons use to restore blood flow and reduce the risk of stroke:
- Endarterectomy: This refers to the surgical removal of plaque through an incision in the neck. Carotid endarterectomy is one of the most studied and most successful operations done by vascular surgeons.
- Angioplasty with Stent Placement: A small balloon is inserted into the blocked artery through a catheter in the groin. When inflated, the balloon stretches the blocked artery. Once it is satisfactorily stretched, the balloon is deflated and removed. A stent is then placed at the same time to prop the artery open and exclude plaque from blood flow.
- Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR): Physicians' Clinic of Iowa is pioneering the use of a breakthrough technology called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) to treat patients with carotid artery disease who are at increased risk for open surgery.