Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid artery disease occurs when one or both of the carotid arteries become narrowed or blocked. The carotid arteries carry blood from the aorta through the neck to the brain.

Diagnosis & Treatment at UVA

At UVA, we can diagnose you by using these tests:

    • Ultrasound
    • Computed tomography (CT) scan 
    • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)
    • Angiography
    Your healthcare provider can work with you to choose an appropriate treatment. 

    Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA)

    UVA performs about 120 CEAs each year. Patient outcomes are better at hospitals that perform more than 100 CEAs annually. CEA is a surgical procedure that removes the plaque causing the narrowing or blockage. Your surgeon opens the carotid artery and improves blood flow. 

    Carotid Angioplasty and Stenting

    If you're ineligible for CEA, angioplasty and stenting may be the right procedure for you. Your surgeon inserts a catheter with a balloon on its tip and threads it to the blocked or narrowed carotid artery. The balloon inflates and pushes the plaque to the artery walls to open it up. A stent helps keep the artery open.

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    Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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