All A to Z Topics

Carotid endarterectomy

A carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure to unblock a carotid artery. The carotid arteries are the main blood vessels that supply the head and neck.
When carotid endarterectomy is needed
A carotid endarterectomy may be needed if one or both of your carotid arteries becomes narrowed by a build-up of fatty deposits (plaque).
Getting ready for a carotid endarterectomy
Before having a carotid endarterectomy, you will attend a pre-admission clinic where you will have a physical examination and be asked about your medical history.
How carotid endarterectomy is performed
A carotid endarterectomy will either be carried out under general or local anaesthesia.
Recovering from carotid endarterectomy
After a carotid endarterectomy, you will usually be moved to the recovery area of the operating theatre or, in some cases, a high dependency unit (HDU).
Risks of carotid endarterectomy
As with all types of surgery, there are some risks associated with having a carotid endarterectomy.
Alternatives to carotid endarterectomy
A carotid endarterectomy is the main treatment for narrowed carotid arteries. However, an alternative procedure called carotid artery stent placement can also be used.
'I'm able to walk again'
Mr Joseph Leverment, from Cropston, Leicester, had a carotid endarterectomy while he was a senior surgeon at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.