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Conditions We Treat: Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid artery disease is a narrowing (stenosis) or blockage of the arteries that supply blood to the brain, often due to a buildup of fatty plaque inside the arteries. A severe enough blockage may lead to a stroke, sometimes called a “brain attack.”

Carotid Artery Disease: What You Need to Know

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  • Arteries are quite often narrowed or blocked due to atherosclerosis, when fat, cholesterol and other deposits collect on the inside of the artery walls.
  • Carotid artery disease may be signaled by a mini stroke, also called a transient ischemic attack (TIA).
  • Your doctor’s goal will be to reduce your risk of stroke by reducing further plaque buildup: getting your cholesterol and blood pressure within appropriate limits. You may also be given medication to lower your risk of blood clots.
  • If carotid artery disease is well advanced, doctors may perform surgery to remove plaque and clots from the carotid arteries or they may insert a stent, an expanding tube that pushes open the carotid artery so blood can flow through.

If you suspect that you or someone else is having a stroke, it’s important to go to the hospital right away. Early intervention can often improve recovery outcomes.

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Why choose Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute for treatment of carotid artery disease?

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Our Physicians

Our vascular experts are at the forefront of both open repair and minimally invasive treatment for carotid artery disease.

Learn more about vascular treatments at Johns Hopkins.

Meet our physicians:
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Our Patient Care

Making the right treatment decision means taking your whole health picture into account. For vascular surgeon Bruce Perler, there's no one-size-fits-all solution.

Read more.

Dr. Perler discusses prevention and treatment of carotid artery disease.

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Our Services

The Johns Hopkins Noninvasive Vascular Laboratory is one of the nation’s most elite vascular labs.

Learn more about noninvasive vascular testing.