Carotid Artery Disease

Board Certified Vascular Surgeons, Vascular Surgery & Cardiology located in Kalamazoo, Allegan, Battle Creek, Coldwater, Sturgis and Three Rivers, MI

Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid Artery Disease services offered in Kalamazoo, Allegan, Battle Creek, Coldwater, Sturgis and Three Rivers, MI

The carotid artery provides your brain with vital oxygen, so any blockage could lead to a stroke. The team of experts at Advanced Vascular Surgery throughout Michigan, uses advanced diagnostics to determine if you have healthy arteries and offers cutting-edge treatments to prevent strokes. If you have carotid artery disease symptoms or are at risk for this condition, call Advanced Vascular Surgery or request an appointment online today.

Carotid Artery Disease Q & A

What is carotid artery disease?

Carotid artery disease develops when the major neck arteries that supply your brain with blood become narrow or blocked.

As you age, plaque can form in the carotid artery walls. Plaque consists of cholesterol with calcium and fibrous tissue that clumps together. As plaque builds up, your arteries narrow and stiffen, a process called atherosclerosis.

Carotid artery disease can be present without causing any symptoms, but when they do occur, you might experience:

  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling
  • Reduced limb control
  • Loss of vision in one eye
  • Inability to speak clearly

Without treatment, carotid artery disease can trigger a stroke. That happens when a blockage in the artery deprives your brain of blood, leading to cell death. Stroke is a significant cause of disability and death in the United States, but treating carotid artery disease early can prevent this devastating condition.

How is carotid artery disease diagnosed?

Your Advanced Vascular Surgery provider begins the diagnostic process with a complete physical exam and medical history review. They can also listen to the blood flowing through the artery, which may make a distinctive sound (bruit) if anything affects its passage.

To confirm a diagnosis and evaluate the extent of the problem, you might need to undergo further testing, which could include:

  • Carotid duplex ultrasound
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • CT angiography (CTA)
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)

After evaluating your results, the Advanced Vascular Surgery team can advise you on the best treatment.

How is carotid artery disease treated?

In the early stages, medical management is often enough to treat carotid artery disease effectively. Your personalized treatment plan might include:

  • Losing weight
  • Cutting out cholesterol from your diet
  • Quitting smoking
  • Exercising more
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Cholesterol reducing drugs

You might also need to take an antiplatelet medicine like aspirin to reduce the risk of blood clots.

The Advanced Vascular Surgery team can perform angioplasty and stenting for more severe carotid artery disease. That minimally invasive procedure involves passing a long, thin tube (catheter) through a small incision in a groin artery. Your provider feeds the catheter along to the carotid artery and places a small mesh tube (stent) in it to keep it open.

Other options include carotid endarterectomy to remove the plaque and transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR), which filters the blood before it reaches your brain.

Call Advanced Vascular Surgery or book an appointment online for a potentially life-saving carotid artery disease evaluation today.