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Carotid Disease

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Carotid Disease Treatment & Surgery

Carotid disease, with its potential to lead to severe and life-threatening complications like strokes, demands prompt attention and specialized care. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and available treatments is essential for effective management. For those diagnosed with this condition, working closely with a team of healthcare professionals, including vascular specialists, is key to tailoring a Carotid Disease treatment plan that addresses individual needs and reduces the risk of severe outcomes. At National Vascular Associates, we are committed to providing comprehensive care for patients with carotid disease.

What Is Carotid Disease?

Carotid disease is a condition that primarily affects the carotid arteries in the neck. These arteries play an important role in the body's circulatory system, supplying blood to the brain, neck, and face. The primary concern in carotid disease is the narrowing or blockage of these arteries, usually due to atherosclerosis, where plaque builds up inside the artery walls. The causes of carotid disease are multifaceted, often linked to lifestyle factors such as high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and hypertension. Additionally, age, family history, and diabetes are potential contributors. The symptoms can be elusive, often going unnoticed until a significant blockage occurs. However, some individuals may experience transient ischemic attacks or TIAs, characterized by temporary episodes of stroke-like symptoms such as weakness, blurred vision, loss of vision, sudden onset of left or right side weakness, facial droop, and difficulty speaking. 

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Diagnosis Of Carotid Disease

Diagnosing carotid disease involves a comprehensive approach, encompassing both physical examination and advanced imaging techniques. Initially, healthcare professionals may detect a bruit, an unusual sound heard over the carotid artery with a stethoscope, indicating turbulent blood flow. This finding often leads to further diagnostic testing. The most common diagnostic tool is a Doppler ultrasound, a non-invasive method that visualizes the blood flow and identifies any blockages or narrowing in the arteries. In some cases, additional imaging tests like CT angiography or magnetic resonance angiography may be necessary to gain a more detailed view of the carotid arteries. These advanced imaging techniques are essential in assessing the extent of the disease and formulating an effective treatment plan.

Carotid Disease Treatment Options

Treating carotid disease effectively requires a multifaceted approach, focusing on both managing symptoms and addressing the underlying causes. For many patients, this involves lifestyle modifications such as adopting a heart-healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, quitting smoking, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Medications also play a pivotal role, with doctors often prescribing antiplatelet drugs like aspirin and statins to reduce cholesterol levels. In cases where the carotid disease is more advanced or progressing rapidly, Carotid Disease surgery may be necessary. This could involve procedures to restore proper blood flow to the brain. The choice of treatment depends on several factors, including the severity of the blockage and the patient's overall health.

Surgical Interventions For Carotid Disease

When non-surgical treatments are insufficient or the risk of stroke is high, Carotid Disease surgery may be the best course of action. The two primary surgeries for carotid disease are carotid endarterectomy and carotid artery stenting. Carotid endarterectomy, one of the most common and effective surgical treatments, involves removing plaque from the carotid artery to prevent a stroke. This procedure is typically recommended for patients with significant narrowing of the carotid artery. On the other hand, carotid artery stenting is a less invasive option, where a small coil is placed inside the artery to keep it open. This procedure is often preferred for patients who may not be suitable candidates for endarterectomy due to other medical conditions.

Are You Searching For A Local Carotid Disease Doctor?

At National Vascular Associates, our team of experienced vascular specialists uses the latest diagnostic tools and treatment methods to ensure the best possible outcomes. We understand the importance of a patient-centered approach and are dedicated to guiding our patients through every step of their journey toward better health. Contact our office for more information or to schedule a consultation with an experienced Carotid Disease doctor near you.

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