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When minimally invasive interventions to clear a blocked carotid artery, such as carotid angioplasty and/or stenting, are no longer an option, a vascular care physician may recommend carotid endartectomy surgery as the best course for treatment.

How Carotid Endartectomy Surgery Is Performed

Carotid endartectomy surgery is performed to remove the plaque buildup inside of the blocked carotid artery. A surgeon makes an incision in the neck near the blocked carotid artery. Depending on the surgical technique, a temporary tube may be inserted into the artery below and above the blockage to reroute the blood flow during the procedure. The surgeon opens the blocked carotid artery to remove the plaque buildup. The clean artery is stitched and temporary tubes are removed. Blood can then flow freely through the carotid artery, supplying oxygenated blood to the neck and brain. This surgery can help reduce the risk of stroke.