Carotid Artery Disease in Phoenix, Arizona
Like Peripheral Arterial/Vascular Disease, Carotid Artery Disease is a narrowed flow of blood through the vessel. This narrowing or blocked vessel becomes occluded by fatty deposits of plaque built up along the vessel wall leading to atherosclerotic disease. The Carotid artery is the main source of blood to your brain and therefore a narrowing or blockage in the carotid artery is a very serious complication and requires thorough and appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
If you suspect that you are suffering from carotid artery disease it is important that you schedule an appointment with the highly-trained vascular surgeons in Phoenix at Western Vascular Institute. Western Vascular Institute’s three conveniently located vein and vascular clinics in Arizona, house the most advanced & innovative surgery centers & diagnostic imaging capabilities for our valued patients.
Our board-certified vascular surgeons provide you with a comprehensive diagnosis and help discover the best treatment plan for you. For more information, call our vein and vascular clinic at (480) 668-5000 and schedule an appointment with one of our vascular surgeons, at one of our vein and vascular clinics in Phoenix, Mesa and Payson, Arizona.
What Are the Symptoms of Carotid Artery Disease?
Many people with Carotid Artery Disease experience no symptoms even with severe blockage. Generally, this condition is found after the patient experiences a stroke or through other routine patient examinations. According to Mayo Clinic some signs and symptoms that patients with carotid artery disease experience are:
- Numbness or weakness in the face or limbs, often on only one side of the body
- Trouble speaking and understanding
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden dizziness or loss of balance
What Are the Causes of Carotid Artery Disease?
Generally caused by atherosclerosis, where a build-up of plaque in the arteries reduces the flow of blood or blocks the flow entirely. This lack of blood flow and reduced oxygen supply to the brain can lead to stroke.
What Are the Risk Factors of Carotid Artery Disease?
- Older age
- Family history
- Genetic factors
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Diet high in saturated fat
- Lack of exercise
How Is Carotid Artery Disease Diagnosed?
Thorough physical examination and medical history. Your physician will also most likely be looking for a (bruit) swooshing sound in the carotid artery that is indicative of a narrowed artery. An Carotid Artery duplex ultrasound scan will also be performed to assess the flow of blood through the artery as well as the pressure. A CT or MRI may be done also to assess for stroke.
How is Carotid Artery Disease Treated?
Lifestyle changes such as eating a healthier diet, reducing salt intake, exercising regularly, losing weight, and quitting smoking can be effective to treat mild blockage.
To lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood and your blood pressure. Additional blood thinner medications may be given to prevent blood clots.
Only a very limited number of specialized surgeons including, Vascular Surgeons, who have all treatment modalities available as part of their training and scope of practice are able to treat a patient by performing a carotid endarterectomy (CEA). A Carotid endarterectomy is performed to remove a plaque build-up in the carotid artery to allow for greater flow of blood through the artery and reduce the risk of stroke. This procedure is generally done when there is a significant blockage of 50% or greater to the artery.
Western Vascular Institute is pioneering the use of a breakthrough technology called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) to treat patients with carotid artery disease who are at risk for open surgery. While any repair of the carotid artery carries some risk of causing a stroke because of the repair itself, TCAR was designed to help minimize that risk by keeping potential stroke-causing fragments away from the brain. Patients who undergo the TCAR procedure recover quickly (typically spending just one night in the hospital) and almost always go home the next day to return to full and productive lives with less pain, smaller scars, and a reduced risk of future strokes.
This procedure is performed to treat narrowed or occluded carotid arteries. In this procedure, the Vascular Surgeon inserts a wire through the groin and guided via x-ray imaging to the carotid artery. Once there the balloon is placed to expand the narrowed section and a stent is left in place afterward to maintain the vessel diameter and allow the blood to flow through the artery.
Schedule a Carotid Artery Disease Consultation in Phoenix, AZ
If you have been experiencing symptoms of carotid artery disease it is important that you schedule an appointment with one of our highly-trained vascular surgeons. They will diagnose your symptoms and discover the best treatment option for you. For more information about our Vascular Surgery Center in Phoenix, Arizona, please call (480) 668-5000 to schedule your appointment today.