How is Carotid Endarterectomy Otherwise Known

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 27, 2012

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Quick Bites

  • Carotid endarterectomy is also called carotid artery surgery.
  • It is an operation to remove the inner lining of your carotid artery.
  • It eliminates plaque from your artery and can restore blood flow.
  • It can also determine the degree of narrowing in your carotid artery.

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.

Preparation for Carotid Endarterectomy

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:

Carotid Endarterectomy

  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Computed tomographic angiogram (CTA)
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)
  • Angiography (or arteriography)


Who Needs a Carotid Endarterectomy

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:

  • Had a large stroke without recovery
  • Widespread cancer with a life expectancy of less than two years
  • High blood pressure that has not been adequately controlled by lifestyle changes or medications
  • Unstable angina (chest pains)
  • Had a heart attack in the last six months
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Signs of progressive brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease

After surgery, you may stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days. During this time, your physician will monitor your progress.

Image Courtesy: Getty

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