Carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure to eliminate a accumulation of fatty deposits (plaque), which cause narrowing of a carotid artery. The carotid arteries are the main blood ship that supply the head and also neck.

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Carotid endarterectomies are carried out when 1 or both carotid arteries become narrowed because of a accumulation of fat deposits (plaque). 

This is known as carotid artery disease or carotid artery stenosis.

Carotid arteryPlaque impede arteryBlood clot

If a narrowed carotid artery is left untreated, blood circulation to the brain may it is in affected.

This is usually since a blood clot develops and a item breaks off and also goes come the brain.

This can an outcome in either:

Each year in the UK much more than 100,000 civilization have a stroke. About a quarter of these are caused by a narrowing of the carotid arteries.

Around 4,000 carotid endarterectomies are brought out in the UK each year.

A carotid endarterectomy can substantially reduce the risk of a punch in civilization with severely small carotid arteries. 

In civilization who have actually previously had a hit or a TIA, surgical treatment reduces their risk of having one more stroke or TIA in ~ the next 3 year by a third.

It"s currently thought the operation must be lugged out as quickly as possible after symptom appear.

It"s therefore important to gain immediate medical advice if you endure symptoms such as:

numbness or weakness in your face, arm or foot speech problems loss of vision in one eye

Find out an ext about as soon as a carotid endarterectomy is needed

About the procedure

A carotid endarterectomy have the right to be carried out using either local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic.

The benefit of neighborhood anaesthetic is it allows the surgeon to monitor brain function if you"re awake. However there"s no proof that one of two people is safer or better.

During the procedure, a 7 come 10cm (2.5 come 4 inch) reduced is made between the corner of your jaw and your breastbone.

A small cut is then made follow me the narrowed section of artery and also the fatty deposits that have accumulated are removed.

The artery is closed with stitches or a patch and also your skin is also closed through stitches.

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What wake up after the procedure

You"ll commonly be relocated to the recovery area the the operation theatre for monitoring for about 3 hours, before returning to the vascular ward.

Most human being are well enough to go residence within about 48 hours the the procedure.

In most cases, the only problems experienced after the operation are short-lived numbness or uncomfortable in the neck.

But there"s a little risk of an ext serious complications, i m sorry can incorporate stroke or death in 2 to 3% that cases.

Nevertheless, this hazard is much reduced than in world with carotid artery disease who haven"t chosen to have the operation.

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Are there any kind of alternatives?

Carotid endarterectomy is the key treatment because that narrowing that the carotid arteries, yet sometimes an alternate procedure dubbed carotid artery stent placement might be available.

It"s a less invasive procedure than a carotid endarterectomy since there"s no should make a cut in the neck.

Instead, a thin functional tube is guided come the carotid artery v a small cut in the groin. 

A mesh cylinder (stent) is climate placed into the narrowed section of artery to widen it and allow blood to circulation through it much more easily.

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Current accuse recommend that a carotid endarterectomy should be the an initial line of treatment for most people.

This is due to the fact that carotid stenting is connected with a higher risk of stroke throughout the procedure, specifically if it"s brought out in the first few days after symptoms appear.

But it"s critical alternative for some world who may otherwise be taken into consideration to be high risk because of other clinical problems.