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Blood is supplied to the brain through the carotid arteries, which are located on each side of the neck.
Carotid disease is caused when plaque (cholesterol and other substances) accumulates in one or both carotid arteries. This may cause the artery to narrow (called “stenosis”) or limit blood flow to the brain. The plaque may also create a clot that may disrupt blood flow to the heart, potentially causing either a stroke or transient ischemic attack.
Using the most advanced technology available, our team carefully evaluates each patient to diagnose your condition and develop a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve the best possible long-term results.
Our team determines the most appropriate treatment plan based on the specifics of your carotid disease, medical history and health goals. As our patient, the plan to treat your carotid condition will be personalized for you and your life. Your plan may include medication, lifestyle changes and, if appropriate, surgery.
Our surgeons are leaders in the most advanced surgical treatment options for carotid disease and have a record of improving patients’ health with minimal complications. Our team offers:
Carotid endarterectomy: During this procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision (cut) along the front of the neck to open the carotid artery. The surgeon then removes plaque within the artery. Next, the surgeon repairs the artery. Typically, this surgery takes about an hour.
After this procedure, you will stay in the hospital for one or two nights to be sure you are recovering well. When you return home, you will need to rest for several weeks and avoid strenuous activities until you feel fully recovered.
Transcervical carotid artery revascularization (TCAR): This is a minimally invasive procedure to treat carotid disease. During this procedure, your surgeon creates a small incision in the neck. Next, your surgeon places a catheter (long, thin tube) directly into the carotid artery. Then, a filtration system is attached to the catheter. This system directs blood to flow through the filter and away from the brain, collecting plaque and preventing it from reaching your brain. The filtered blood is then returned to your body. Next, a carotid stent (support) is placed in your carotid artery and the blood flow toward your brain resumes. The catheter is removed and the incision is stitched closed.
Since this is a minimally invasive procedure, you will recover quickly. You will need to spend one night in the hospital. After you return home, you will need to avoid strenuous activities for one week. Then, you will see your care team frequently to monitor your carotid artery and promote your overall well-being.
Carotid stenting: A stent is a small tube that opens up a narrowed or blocked blood vessel. During this procedure, your surgeon will insert a catheter with a balloon and stent attached into the carotid artery through a small incision in the neck or through a single puncture site in the groin. The surgeon will then inflate the balloon and place the stent. The balloon is then deflated and removed with the catheter.
The surgeons at Weill Cornell Medical Center have expertise in several types of carotid stenting procedures, including stents delivered through a small incision in the groin and a new procedure called transcervical carotid revascularization (TCAR), each of which has its own specific advantages.
After the procedure, you will stay at the hospital for one or two nights. When you return home, you will need to avoid strenuous activities for several days. Then, you will see your care team frequently to monitor your carotid arteries, blood flow and promote your overall well-being.
Carotid body tumor embolization and removal: To remove a carotid tumor, your surgeon will first reduce the blood supply to the tumor with a procedure called embolization. This typically occurs a few days before the surgical removal. Your surgeon will guide a catheter through a small incision in your groin to the blood vessels that deliver blood to the tumor. A medication or blocking device is then released to stop blood from flowing to the tumor. This causes the tumor to shrink.
Next, your surgeon will remove the tumor. At Weill Cornell Medicine, our surgeons are skilled at performing highly complex procedures to remove carotid body tumors.
After the procedure, you will stay at the hospital for one or two nights. When you return home, you will need to avoid strenuous activities for several days. Then, you will see your care team frequently to monitor your recovery and promote the best possible health.
To request an appointment, please fill out our form. Our staff will help you find the physician who best fits your individual medical needs.