Carotid Disease and Stroke Prevention
Like other vessels in the body, the carotid arteries have potential to develop cholesterol deposits - or plaque – that may narrow the artery, decreasing blood flow to the brain and potentially causing a stroke.
About one third of all strokes are due to disease of the neck arteries (carotid). Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States.
Mount Sinai’s vascular surgeons may recommend tests, including a duplex ultrasound, computed tomography angiogram (CTA), or a magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) to detect a blockage and determine if treatment is necessary.
If a blockage is discovered, treatment to alleviate the narrowing may be necessary to prevent a stroke from occurring. We may recommend the traditional surgical procedure used to treat carotid blockage, called a carotid endarterectomy. During surgery your surgeon will make a small incision at the site of the carotid artery in the neck, and surgically remove the plague build-up from the diseased portions of the artery. This restores the normal blood flow to the brain.
Carotid angioplasty and stenting is a less invasive procedure used to treat carotid disease. During the angioplasty procedure, a balloon catheter is guided through the artery to the location of the blockage. When the catheter reaches the blockage, the surgeon opens the balloon, and presses the plaque against the walls of the artery to restore blood flow. The balloon is then removed. A stent, which is a small metal mesh tube, is then placed at the site of the blockage to reinforce the artery and allow blood to flow through to the brain. The patient remains awake for this procedure, which helps the patient recover faster.
The vascular surgeons at Mount Sinai are highly skilled and experienced in performing both carotid endarterectomy surgery and carotid stenting. They have played a pioneering role in the research and development of these treatments. Since they perform both procedures, they provide unbiased counseling, offering the most advanced procedure tailored to the specific health and circumstances of each patient.
Division of Vascular Surgery
5 East 98th Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10029