Carotid artery disease restricts the blood supply to the brain due to fat deposition (plaques). Longer the disease process, greater is the degree of blockage. This decreases the blood circulation in the brain to cause a stroke.
Around 75% of all ischemic strokes occur in the neck due to blockages in the artery.Typically, a piece of the plaque breaks off and goes to the brain causing either Transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke.
Diagnosis is either via carotid ultrasound or angiograms.
Treatment comprises of Carotid Endarterectomy (open surgery) wherein the fat is opened and directly removed from the artery making sure that no clot goes into the brain. The artery is enlarged in the area with the help of vein / graft patch (patch plasty) to make sure no further blockage takes place.
Minimally invasive method includes carotid artery angioplasty and stenting which is done under protection of a filter (embolic protection device) in which the fat blockages are crossed and are moved away with the help of a stent.