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Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid artery disease is a condition that occurs when the carotid arteries become narrowed due to plaque buildup or other forms of blockages. At Coastal Vein and Vascular, our team of experienced doctors is dedicated to providing individualized treatment plans to effectively manage and treat carotid artery disease.

What is Carotid Artery Disease?

The carotid arteries are two blood vessels that run along either side of the neck, and their main function is to supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Carotid artery disease occurs when plaque builds up in the carotid arteries, causing them to become narrow and stiff. 

This plaque is made up of fatty deposits, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances that can accumulate on the walls of the arteries over time. When blockages form in the carotid arteries, they can cause a reduction in blood flow to the brain, which can lead to a stroke. 

Strokes can be debilitating and have long-lasting effects on a person’s quality of life, making it important to diagnose and treat carotid artery disease as early as possible. There are several factors that can contribute to the development of carotid artery disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, and a family history of cardiovascular disease.

Carotid artery disease often develops slowly over time and may not cause symptoms until a stroke occurs. However, if you experience weakness or numbness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, or dizziness, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. 

How is Carotid Artery Disease Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of carotid artery disease typically involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and various diagnostic tests. At Coastal Vein and Vascular, our experienced team of vascular specialists utilizes duplex ultrasonography to diagnose carotid artery disease. 

This non-invasive procedure uses sound waves to create images of the carotid arteries, allowing our team to identify any blockages or abnormalities. In some cases, additional tests such as a CT scan or an MRI may be necessary to further evaluate the extent of the condition.

Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent serious complications and improve outcomes for patients with carotid artery disease.

How is Carotid Artery Disease Treated?

The treatment of carotid artery disease depends on the severity of the condition and your overall health. Some people with mild to moderate carotid artery disease may be able to manage the condition with lifestyle changes, such as adopting a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly. 

However, more severe cases may require medical or surgical intervention. Medical treatment may involve using medications such as antiplatelet agents or anticoagulants to prevent blood clots from forming and reduce the risk of stroke.

For patients requiring surgical treatment, our surgeons are experienced in performing carotid endarterectomy and TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR). These procedures are done at CarolinaEast Medical Center, conveniently located across the street from Coastal Vein and Vascular. 

A carotid endarterectomy involves the removal of the plaque from the inside of the carotid artery, while a TCAR procedure involves the use of a stent to hold the artery open and allow blood to flow freely. Both procedures have been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of stroke in patients with carotid artery disease.

Are you experiencing symptoms of carotid artery disease or concerned you may have this condition? Request an appointment at Coastal Vein and Vascular in New Bern, NC, today!


What Our Patients Say

Dr. Bell is great. Went over in detail what he was going to do and what the problems were. His staff is incredibly kind from what I’ve seen so far.

- Dani

I just completed my second endarterectomy performed by Doctor Mark Sinning. I have nothing but praise for his surgical skill and team. I was always informed of what was to happen, potential problems and all necessary information to keep me knowledgeable in the treatment. I’m so glad I had the procedures done by Dr Sinning and his team.

- Rick