A doctor will recommend a surgical operation for a blocked carotid artery if the narrowing in the artery is more than 70 percent, as stated by MedlinePlus. A surgery may also be done if a person is experiencing transient ischemic attack symptoms or if the patient has suffered a stroke in the past. The aim of a surgery is to remove the plaque that has accumulated in the carotid arteries.
During surgery, the patient is given a general anesthesia to make the procedure pain-free and a small cut is made in the neck. A flexible tube is inserted in the artery to allow blood flow around the blocked area during the operation. The surgeon then opens the blocked carotid artery and removes the plaque. The artery is closed and stitched together. This allows blood to flow efficiently through the artery to the brain.
The whole procedure takes approximately an hour, but the patient may be required to stay in the intensive care unit for 24 hours for close monitoring by the doctor. Patients often stay for one to three days in the hospital. A normal routine can be resumed within a week after the procedure, as stated by WebMD.