Carotid endarterectomy is a vascular surgery procedure used to treat carotid artery disease, a major cause of stroke.
During carotid endarterectomy, a vascular surgeon removes the inner lining of the carotid artery affected by the plaque. To perform the procedure, the surgeon will first make an incision on the side of the neck to expose the blocked carotid artery. Next, the carotid artery is temporarily clamped to stop blood from flowing through it. Throughout the procedure, the brain receives its blood supply from the carotid artery on the other side of the neck.
The vascular surgeon then makes an incision in the blocked section of the artery, and removes the plaque deposit by removing the inner lining of the diseased section of artery. Once the plaque is removed, the incision is closed.
Carotid endarterectomy typically takes about two hours, and most patients return home within one or two days. Physical activity can be resumed several weeks after the procedure.