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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 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.