The carotid arteries, located on either side of the neck, provide important blood flow to the brain. As people age, plaque can build up on the walls of the body’s arteries, causing the arteries to narrow and stiffen (known as atherosclerosis). When this process can occur in the carotid arteries (termed carotid stenosis) and is a significant risk factor for stroke. Carotid stenosis due to atherosclerosis is one of the most common causes of strokes and stroke-like symptoms.
Carotid stenosis can be treated by carotid endarterectomy – a procedure to remove plaque build-up from a carotid artery and help prevent stroke – is considered the standard treatment for people with carotid stenosis. Carotid endarterectomy is performed through a small incision in the neck, and most patients return home from the hospital the day after the procedure.