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What is carotid artery surgery?

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Carotid artery surgery is a procedure performed to remove plaque from the carotid arteries. The carotid arteries are located on either side of the neck, and their main function is to supply the brain with blood, according to MedlinePlus.

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What is carotid artery surgery?
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Full Answer

Plaque formation in these major arteries can cause a blockage, which restricts blood flow to the brain. This can lead to a stroke, states MedlinePlus. There are two different types of carotid surgeries that may be performed, which are carotid endarterectomy and an angioplasty procedure.

Carotid endarterectomy is an operation that doctors can recommend when a person has experienced a mild or mini stroke, which is also known as a transient ischemic attack. The procedure can prevent the occurrence of a debilitating future stroke, relates the Cleveland Clinic. This is an invasive surgery that involves the surgeon doing incisions in the neck area and removing the plaque.

The second surgical procedure to treat this condition is called angioplasty and stenting or carotid angioplasty. Doctors perform this procedure by placing a tiny balloon in the affect artery to open it up and then use stents to help keep the artery open, reports Mayo Clinic. This option is reserved when other surgical procedures are not suitable for the patient. Although both procedures can lower the risk of a future stroke, people need to alter their diets and also exercise to avoid further plaque formation in arteries.

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