Carotid Artery Angioplasty and Stenting

Carotid Artery Angioplasty and Stenting in Atlanta, GeorgiaCarotid Artery Angioplasty and Stenting in Atlanta, Georgia

Narrowing of the carotid artery is most commonly caused by gradual cholesterol buildup called atherosclerosis. Other potential causes include carotid artery dissection, which is a tearing of the blood vessel wall that, if severe enough, can result in stroke. The most common method of treating a narrowed carotid artery is a procedure called carotid endarterectomy in which a surgeon makes an incision into the artery at the site of narrowing and removes the cholesterol plaque. This effectively restores the vessel to normal size.

Carotid angioplasty and stenting is a relatively new method of treating narrowing of the carotid arteries. This involves placement of a catheter in the groin and threading it into the carotid artery. A small wire is placed across the area of narrowing under X-ray guidance. At this point, a small angioplasty balloon may be expanded across the narrowing or a small metal tube called a stent can be deployed. At Emory, angioplasty and stenting are primarily used for those patients who are unable to undergo surgery.

The image above demonstrates a stent in the process of being deployed. After the proper position of the stent is confirmed, it is deployed to help keep the blood vessel open.

This is what a stent looks like after it has been fully deployed.

See an Example of Carotid Angioplasty and Stenting

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