Richard Evans - Vascular Surgeon
Private Service, Vascular Surgery
Carotid Artery Disease
You have two carotid arteries, one on either side of your neck, that supply blood to your brain. Carotid artery disease occurs if these arteries become narrowed because of atherosclerosis (a build up of fat and cholesterol deposits on the inner walls of the vessels). If a clot forms in one of the carotid arteries and reduces or stops the flow of blood to part of your brain, it may cause a TIA (mini-stroke) or stroke.
You have an increased risk of developing carotid artery disease if you:
- have a family history of atherosclerosis
- have high blood pressure (hypertension)
- have diabetes
- have coronary artery disease.
Treatment involves lifestyle changes eg, stopping smoking, exercising more, dietary changes and medications, such as regular low-dose Aspirin and a statin (anti-cholesterol medication). If there is severe narrowing of the carotid arteries, or you have had a recent stroke, surgery to treat the narrowed segment will be required.