Carotid Artery Stenosis

Occasionally, plaque builds up in neck arteries, usually the largest artery going to the brain, called the carotid artery. As with many cerebrovascular diseases, we at Mount Sinai can treat carotid artery stenosis in two ways: through surgery or endovascular techniques.

Surgery to treat carotid artery stenosis is called a carotid endarterectomy. We make a small incision in a skin crease in your neck (to minimize scarring), open the artery, clean it out, then sew it closed. The other approach is carotid artery stenting, which is similar to using coronary stents to treat cardiovascular disease.

After we identify the narrowed artery during an angiogram, we enlarge the narrowed section with wire-mesh stents and high-pressure balloons. This improves blood flow to the brain and reduces the possibility of future strokes. You will likely stay overnight for observation and go home in the morning.

We decide whether to treat you with surgery or stenting based on combination of factors and we will discuss it with you in detail during your office visit. Both procedures are very safe, with a less than three percent rate of any complication.