Carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure used to treat carotid artery disease when it has caused a severe narrowing of the carotid artery. This large blood vessel in the neck supplies blood to your brain and can become blocked by the buildup of plaque. During the operation, the surgeon removes the plaque and fully reopens your carotid artery to allow proper blood flow and reduce your long-term risk of stroke.
Carotid endarterectomy: What you need to know
- Mild to moderate blockages are typically treated with medications rather than surgery and monitored over time by ultrasound. Surgery is recommended if you have severe blockage or have already suffered a stroke or mini-strokes. Your physician will discuss options with you.
- You have two carotid arteries, one on each side of your neck. The surgeon will make an incision on the side with the blockage, open the artery and remove the plaque.
- A patch may be used to close the artery as well as widen it to prevent it from narrowing again.
- You can expect a carotid endarterectomy to last about two hours. Typically, the surgery requires an overnight stay in the hospital, and about two weeks before you can resume normal activities.
- A healthy diet and lifestyle are recommended after surgery to prevent a recurrence.
Why choose UF Health Jacksonville?
UF Health Vascular Surgery, Vascular Neurology and Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery have renowned teams of University of Florida surgeons with a success rate among the highest in the nation. You can rely on their expertise — developed by years of experience performing complicated surgeries — to offer you the best chance to restore your health and quality of life.
As a part of a leading academic medical institution, our surgical team can also offer you the most advanced research-based treatments for the best possible outcomes.