Carotid artery disease affects the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to your brain and increases your risk of having a stroke. The team at Comprehensive Internal Medicine & Cardiology Associates of Huntington specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of carotid artery disease. They take a personalized approach to care and offer both medical and surgical treatment options. To schedule a consultation, call the office in Huntington, New York, or request your visit online today.
Your carotid arteries are the large arteries in your neck that carry oxygen-rich blood to your brain. Carotid artery disease is a narrowing or blockage in these arteries.
The narrowing or blockage occurs from a buildup of plaque, made of cholesterol, fat, and minerals, along the walls of these arteries. The plaque not only affects blood flow to your brain but also causes the hardening of the arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis.
Over time, the narrowing may decrease blood flow to your brain. Or, the plaque may cause the formation of a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood to your brain, resulting in a stroke.
Carotid artery disease develops slowly over time, and your first symptom may be a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). With a TIA, blood flow to your brain is only temporarily stopped.
Symptoms that may indicate you’re having a stroke or TIA include:
Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if you or someone you love has these symptoms, even if the symptoms temporarily improve or go away.
The team at Comprehensive Internal Medicine & Cardiology Associates of Huntington conducts a thorough evaluation to diagnose carotid artery disease.
They do a carotid ultrasound on the arteries, which produces moving images of blood flow through the vessels. This allows your provider to see any narrowing in the arteries from atherosclerosis or blood clot formation.
Treatment for your carotid artery disease depends on the severity of the blockage and your symptoms.
For mild carotid artery disease, the team may recommend aspirin or other antiplatelet medication to prevent the formation of blood clots and reduce your risk of having a stroke.
If you have more severe carotid artery disease, you might need to undergo a procedure like peripheral angioplasty. This involves having a tube (catheter) passed along the artery. Your provider inflates a tiny balloon inside your carotid artery that squashes the plaque and allows blood to flow freely. They can also insert a mesh tube called a stent to keep the artery open.
To schedule a consultation to discuss treatment options for your carotid artery disease, call Comprehensive Internal Medicine & Cardiology Associates of Huntington or request your visit online today.