Carotid artery surgery - series
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.
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.
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.
A normal hospital stay is one to three days after surgery. Avoid bending the neck sharply in any direction.
- Last reviewed on 5/15/2013
- John A. Daller, MD, PhD., Department of Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.