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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


Carotid artery surgery - series

Normal anatomy

There are four carotid arteries, with a pair located on each side of the neck. This includes the right- and left-internal carotid arteries, and the right- and left-external carotid arteries. The carotid arteries deliver oxygen-rich blood from the heart to both the head and brain.

Normal anatomy

Indications

When the carotid arteries become blocked with cholesterol plaques (atherosclerotic plaques), blood flow to the brain is compromised. Also, small pieces of plaque can break off and block small arteries in the brain. This blockage of the blood vessels can cause transient-ischemic attacks and strokes.

Indications

Procedure

While you are deep asleep and pain-free, an incision is made in the neck, over the blocked carotid artery. A tube is inserted above and below the blockage to re-direct the blood flow. Fat and cholesterol build-ups are removed from the carotid artery. The artery is stitched (sutured) closed, the tube is removed, and the incision is closed.

Procedure

Aftercare

A normal hospital stay is one to three days after surgery. Avoid bending the neck sharply in any direction.

Aftercare