Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery & Endovascular Neurosurgical Radiologists located in Englewood near Denver, Colorado
Carotid stenosis is a serious medical condition that can be life-threatening. Finding the right team to handle the diagnostic and treatment of carotid stenosis is critical. Fortunately, help is available through the services of RIA Neurovascular in Denver, Colorado. If you are experiencing symptoms of vascular disease and are looking for answers and solutions, schedule an appointment by calling the office today.
Carotid Stenosis Q & A
What is carotid stenosis?
Carotid stenosis is a condition in which your carotid arteries narrow. You have two carotid arteries, one on either side of your throat. These vessels carry oxygenated blood from your heart to your brain, and the walls of these blood vessels are usually smooth and flexible.
Over time, however, injuries to artery walls and other factors can allow plaque to build up. As more plaque accumulates, your carotid arteries can narrow, leaving less room for blood to flow to your brain.
This condition is known as atherosclerosis. Those narrowed openings also place you at a higher risk for a blood clot, and therefore a stroke.
What causes carotid stenosis?
Atherosclerosis is the primary cause of carotid stenosis. Some of the factors that increase your risk of developing atherosclerosis, and eventually carotid stenosis, include:
- Family history
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Coronary artery disease
Older men and women have higher rates of carotid stenosis, but the condition can develop in younger people, especially if there are multiple risk factors at play.
How is carotid stenosis diagnosed?
There are numerous diagnostic tools that can detect carotid stenosis. Some of the available options include:
- Doppler ultrasound
- Computed tomography angiography, or CT angiogram
- Magnetic resonance angiography, or MRA
- Cerebral angiogram
Your specialist will complete a thorough assessment before recommending the right diagnostic options for your specific needs.
What are some treatment options for carotid stenosis?
Treatment focuses on removing accumulated arterial plaque and improving the flow of blood through your carotid arteries. Surgery is one approach and works by creating incisions to access the narrowed arteries before peeling away accumulated plaque.
The artery is clamped off during the procedure, then released to allow blood to flow again once the surgery is complete. The small incision in the artery wall is closed with tiny sutures.
Another approach is called artery stenting. This treatment uses a self-expanding tube made of a mesh material to hold the artery walls open. The stents are made of stainless steel or metal alloys, and once in place, they remain in your blood vessels permanently.
If you have questions or concerns about carotid stenosis, come in for a one-on-one consultation and a discussion of your options. Online scheduling is available, or you can always call or schedule a visit online.
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