What Is Carotid Endarterectomy?

Carotid endarterectomy is surgery to 
remove fatty deposits (plaque) that are 
narrowing the arteries in your neck. 
These are called the carotid arteries. 
They supply blood and oxygen to your 
brain. If plaque and other fatty materials 
block an artery, it slows or blocks the 
blood flow, and you could have a stroke. 

Carotid endarterectomy is surgery to remove fatty deposits (plaque) that are narrowing the arteries in your neck. These are called the carotid arteries. They supply blood and oxygen to your brain. If plaque and other fatty materials block an artery, it slows or blocks the blood flow, and you could have a stroke. Why do I need it?

Your doctor has given you one or more tests that show 
there is blockage. You may have had transient ischemic 
attacks (TIAs). A TIA is caused by a blood clot that lasts 
only a few minutes and usually causes no permanent 
injury. TIAs can serve as warning signs of a major 
stroke. About one-third of these are followed by a stroke 
in the following year. This operation can stop TIAs from 
happening and can reduce your risk for stroke.
How is it done?
• You’ll get medicine to make you sleep and prevent pain.
• The doctor makes a small cut in your neck at the spot 
where your artery is blocked or narrowed. 
• The doctor opens up the narrowed artery and removes 
the plaque.
• The doctor will make the artery as smooth and 
clean as possible.• The artery and the cut will be closed up.
• The surgery usually takes about 1or 2 hours. 
What about afterwards?
• You’ll wake up in the hospital and may feel confused 
at first.
• Your neck will hurt for a couple of days.
• It may be hard to swallow at first.
• You’ll probably go home in a day or two.
• You shouldn’t lift anything heavy for about three weeks.
• You’ll probably be able to return to work within 
a month.
• You should make healthy lifestyle changes to help 
reduce the chance of new plaque deposits and to lower 
your risk of stroke.How can I reduce my risk of stroke?
• Have your blood pressure checked often and manage 
high blood pressure.
• Don’t smoke, and avoid second-hand smoke.
• Lose any extra weight.
• Get regular physical activity.
• Have your blood sugar tested, and control diabetes if 
you have it.
• Eat less salt, saturated fat and trans fat.
• Limit alcohol to no more than two drinks a day for 
men, one drink a day for women.