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Carotid Endarterectomy & Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid arteries are large blood vessels in your neck responsible for supplying oxygen-rich blood to your brain. When blockages from carotid artery disease restrict blood flow, it can cause serious complications such as stroke. As one of the most comprehensive endovascular programs in North Carolina, our surgeons are skilled in delivering life-saving treatments such as carotid endarterectomy. 

Carotid Endarterectomy at Wake Forest Baptist Health 

Carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove blockages from your carotid artery. Although this may sound complex, it is a common treatment used to treat for carotid artery disease. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained surgeons have years of experience performing this carotid endarterectomies. 

Your may benefit from carotid endarterectomy if you have experienced: 

  • Significant (50 to 70 percent) narrowing in your carotid artery; and 
  • Stroke, or one or more transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), also called mini-strokes, in the past 6 months 

Surgery isn’t for everyone. Your doctor will let you know if carotid endarterectomy is right for your condition.  

Request an appointment online to find out if carotid endarterectomy is right for you.

Carotid Artery Disease Treatment in North Carolina 

You have two carotid arteries, one on each side of your neck. Over time, buildup of a fatty substance called plaque can interfere with normal blood flow causing carotid artery disease. If a piece of plaque breaks away, it can get stuck in the smaller arteries of your brain, causing a stroke. 

At Wake Forest Baptist Health, our team of vascular surgeons performs carotid endarterectomy in a dedicated endovascular operating room. Here’s what you can expect during the procedure: 

  1. Our specially trained anesthesiologists give you medicine to help you relax. 
  2. We make a small incision in your neck just below the level of the jaw, exposing your carotid artery. 
  3. We may reroute blood flow using a special tube inserted into your blood vessel above and below the surgical area. 
  4. We open the artery and remove the plaque, often in one piece. 
  5. We may take a vein from your leg and sew it on to your carotid artery (also known as grafting) to make it stronger. 
  6. When your carotid endarterectomy is complete, we remove the shunt and close your incisions with stitches.   

Your procedure will take about an hour. After a carotid endarterectomy, you will recuperate in an intensive care unit (ICU) dedicated to Heart & Vascular Center patients. Here, your care is led nurses and nurse practitioners with specialized training in vascular disease.  

Contact Wake Forest Baptist Health 

Request an appointment online. Or, for more information, please call: 

  • 336-716-WAKE or 
  • 888-716-WAKE (toll-free) 


Quick Reference

Heart & Vascular Center
New Patients

Local 336-716-WAKE
Toll-free 888-716-WAKE

Returning Patients

Vascular 336-716-4151
Heart 336-716-6674

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Last Updated: 02-13-2016
Wake Forest Baptist Ranked among Nation’s ‘Best Hospitals’  25 Years in a Row by U.S. News & World ReportComprehensive Cancer Centers National Designation is Renewed2017-2018 Best DoctorsNursing Magnet StatusJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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