Carotid Artery Blockage

Carotid Artery Blockage Treatment

(Left) A narrowed carotid artery before stenting.
(Right) The artery is open after stenting.

Surgical treatment (open surgery or endarterectomy) is the standard therapy for carotid artery blockage. Treatment for healthy patients with this operation has been proven to be safe and effective.

A newer procedure, called carotid artery stenting, is being used at VIR for minimally invasive carotid artery blockage treatment.

Stroke, due to poor blood flow in the brain, is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Over 500,000 people per year die of stroke. Of the survivors, half are permanently disabled. About 30 percent of strokes are caused by narrowings in the carotid arteries (the main blood vessels that supply the brain).

Carotid artery stenting is much like balloon angioplasty and stent placement elsewhere in the body. A flexible metal stent is placed through a small catheter or tube that enters the body through a blood vessel near the groin. A small sieve-like filter wire is passed above the stent to protect the brain. The procedure is offered to patients who are at higher risk than usual for surgery (severe heart or lung disease, prior neck surgery or radiation treatment, etc.). After undergoing carotid artery stenting, patients are observed overnight, and then go home the next day to resume normal activity. The complication rate (stroke rate) for carotid artery blockage treatment of this type is in the same range as for surgery, according to recent studies.

Our physicians have performed carotid artery stenting in Chicago’s western suburbs for about ten years. There are specific criteria that must be met by patients for carotid artery stenting. Ask your doctor if you might be a candidate. Please contact us to schedule a consultation for carotid artery blockage treatment or call
(630) 856-7460.