CAROTIDE DISEASE - Zan Mitrev Clinic

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The carotid arteries are blood vessels that carry blood enriched with oxygen to the head, the brain and the face. They are positioned on both sides of the neck. If plaque and other fatty substances block these arteries, the blood flow reduces or completely blocks and that is when problems arise. When it comes to blockage of blood flow to the brain, TIA (transient ischemic attack) may happen. TIA lasts several minutes and usually does not cause permanent damage. However, often it is used as a warning sign of a fatal stroke.

Approximately 1/3 of people with TIA suffer stroke over the course of the next year. The surgical treatment of a carotid disease can prevent the occurrence of TIA and it can reduce the risk of stroke.

How is carotid disease diagnosed?


The diagnosis of carotid diseases begins with a medical history and a physical examination.

  • Doppler ultrasound sonography
  • Computed tomography
  • Magnetic resonance


What is carotid endarterectomy?


What is carotid endarterectomy?

Carotid endarterectomy is a surgery, a surgical technique wherewith plaque (fatty deposits) that narrows the carotid arteries is removed.

А: identification of the blocked part of the carotid artery

B: the artery opens and the plaque is removed

C: the cleaned artery is closed with a stitch.

How is it performed?

  • You will receive medications to help you sleep and relieve the pain.
  • The doctor makes a small incision in your neck at the spot where the carotid artery is clogged or narrowed.
  • The doctor opens the artery and removes the plaque.
  • The doctor will make the artery as smooth and clean as possible.
  • The artery and the incision on your neck will be closed.
  • The surgery usually lasts 1-2 hours.


What is next?

  • You will wake up in the hospital and at first you will feel confused.
  • You will feel neck pain for a few days.
  • At the beginning you will find it difficult to swallow.
  • Probably you will leave home in a day or two.
  • You should not lift any heavy items in the following 3 weeks.
  • Probably you would be able to return to work in approximately 1 month.
  • You should introduce changes of a healthy lifestyle in order to help to reduce the chances of creating new plaque deposits and to reduce the risk of stroke.

How can I reduce the risk of stroke?

  • Frequently check your pressure and regulate high pressure.
  • Do not smoke and avoid passive smoking.
  • Lose the additional weight.
  • Exercise regularly (have regular physical activity).
  • Check your blood sugar and control your diabetes if you have one.
  • Eat less salt, saturated and trans-fats.
  • Limit alcohol consumption to no more than 2 drinks / day for men and 1 drink / day for women.