Carotid artery disease occurs when fatty deposits (plaques) clog the blood vessels that deliver blood to your brain and head (carotid arteries). The blockage increases your risk of stroke, a medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or seriously reduced.
Treatment for carotid artery disease is necessary to reduce the possibility of stroke or recurrence of stroke. Specifics depend on the degree of artery narrowing/blockage.
Often medications can help slow the progression of carotid artery disease. Aspirin and medications that lower your cholesterol and blood pressure are commonly prescribed when the degree of narrowing is less than 50-60%. Medications may need to be adjusted as the disease progresses.
Quitting smoking is important for managing carotid artery disease and also for your overall health.
If the degree of narrowing is more than 60%, in addition to medication you may benefit from surgery via a carotid endarterectomy, carotid angioplasty or stenting. The Vascular Center is the first practice in Mobile to offer transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR), a procedure that temporarily reroutes the blood flow to effectively reduce the risk of stroke during a carotid endarterectomy procedure.