Carotid endarterectomy is an operation during which your vascular surgeon removes the inner lining of your carotid artery if it has become thickened or damaged. This procedure eliminates a substance called plaque from your artery and can restore blood flow. Carotid endarterectomy also is called carotid artery surgery.
Your physician or vascular surgeon will give you the instructions you need to follow before the surgery, such as fasting.
Before your vascular surgeon performs a carotid endarterectomy, he or she may want to determine how much plaque has built up in your arteries. The most common test used for this purpose is duplex ultrasound. Duplex ultrasound uses painless sound waves to show your blood vessels and measure how fast your blood flows. It can also determine the location and degree of narrowing in your carotid artery. Other tests your vascular surgeon may use include:
You are eligible for the procedure if you have severe narrowing of your carotid arteries, especially if you are experiencing TIAs and are in reasonably good health otherwise. You may be eligible, but at a relatively increased risk, if you have:
After surgery, you may stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days. During this time, your physician will monitor your progress.
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