What Is the Treatment for Carotid Artery Disease?


Quick Answer

Medical procedures, lifestyle changes and medicines prevent carotid artery disease from getting worse and also prevent strokes, explains the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Age, severity of the disease and symptoms determine which treatments are used for each case of carotid artery disease.

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Full Answer

Carotid endarterectomy and carotid artery angioplasty and stenting are the two medical procedures used to treat carotid artery disease, states the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Carotid endarterectomy involves an incision in the neck to reach the carotid artery, a second incision into the blocked part of the artery and the removal of the inner lining in the artery. Carotid endarterectomy is typically used for carotid arteries that are 50 percent blocked or more. Carotid artery angioplasty and stenting widens carotid arteries by threading a deflated balloon into the artery. The balloon is then inflated before a stent is placed in the artery for support and to prevent the artery from narrowing.

Medicines that treat high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure control the conditions that cause carotid artery damage, explains the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Anticlotting medicines stop strokes by preventing blood clots from forming in the carotid artery. Lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, being physically active and following a healthy diet to maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels prevent carotid artery diseases from getting worse.

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