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Carotid Artery Surgery (Endarterectomy)

Overview

This procedure removes plaque that's blocking a carotid artery. That's an artery that sends blood to your brain and your face. You have two of these arteries, one on each side of your neck.

Preparation

To begin, you lie on your back. You're given medicine to make you feel relaxed and numb. Or, you're put to sleep.

Procedure

The surgeon makes an incision in your neck and then in your artery. A flexible tube called a "shunt" may be used to divert your bloodflow around the blockage during the procedure. The surgeon removes the fatty plaque that's causing the blockage. This will restore normal blood flow. Then, the shunt is removed and the artery is closed.

End of Procedure

When the procedure is done, the incision in your neck is closed and bandaged. You may need to stay in the hospital overnight for monitoring. Your healthcare provider will give you tips to help you recover.