If you have carotid artery disease, a carotid endarterectomy
may be recommended. A carotid endarterectomy removes plaque from the inside of
the arterial wall. An incision is made along the skin folds in the neck and a
shunt (tube) may be used to supply blood to the brain during surgery. The
treatment opens the artery to allow for normal blood flow to the brain and
prevent plaque or emboli from going to the brain.
The surgery takes about two hours under general anesthesia.
As with any surgical procedure, there risks that your surgeon will discuss with
you, along with the benefits of your surgery. In many cases, the surgery is
recommended or performed to help prevent a stroke from occurring.