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Carotid Artery Disease Treatment in Phoenix

Carotid artery disease, also called carotid artery stenosis, is a condition that occurs when fat, cholesterol, and plaque build up in your arteries and obstruct the flow of blood to your brain and face. Without diagnosis and treatment, you are at risk of a stroke. Arizona Vein & Laser Institute utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to screen, test, and diagnose arterial diseases and conditions. Our carotid artery disease treatment and management methods include lifestyle modification, medication, and surgical intervention. Call us today to schedule a consultation with our specialists to obtain a carotid artery disease diagnosis or treatment of carotid artery disease in Arizona.

What Is Carotid Artery Disease?

The carotid artery is a large, long artery that runs down each side of your neck. These arteries supply blood to your brain, face, and head. Carotid artery disease is a condition that occurs when an artery is blocked. A blockage can develop due to a buildup of plaque. Plaque is fatty cholesterol deposits that develop over time due to poor diet, lack of exercise, and genetic factors. This buildup of plaque is called atherosclerosis. Carotid artery disease can develop in one or both carotid arteries and will worsen over time if you don’t receive proper treatment and care.

Carotid Artery Disease Risks

The primary risk of carotid artery disease is a stroke. Without carotid artery disease treatment, the blood flow through one or both arteries can become so restricted that your face and brain do not get enough blood. This type of stroke is called an ischemic stroke; without quick intervention, your brain cells begin to die. A transient ischemic attack, or TIA, is a mini-stroke that occurs when there is only a temporary blockage of the artery. Most people experience a TIA before experiencing an ischemic stroke.

girl with two fingers on neck for pulse

Carotid Artery Disease Symptoms

In its earliest stages, carotid artery disease doesn’t show obvious symptoms. Most people don’t realize they have the disease until they show signs of a stroke. The symptoms of a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) are:

  • Drooping of one side of the face.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Trouble forming words and communicating.
  • Loss of vision in one eye.
  • A dark shade coming down over the field of vision in one eye.
  • Loss of feeling on one side of the body.
  • Loss of muscle strength.
  • Weakness on one side of the body.
  • Sudden dizziness or loss of balance.
  • Sudden severe headache.

Obtaining a Carotid Artery Disease Diagnosis

You should call 911 immediately if you display any symptoms of a stroke or TIA. Even if the symptoms pass and you feel okay, you should visit one of our specialists for a professional evaluation. We will assess your symptoms, health history, lifestyle, and your risk factors for carotid artery disease:

  • Smoking or using tobacco products.
  • Obesity.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Diabetes.
  • Age.

We will then check for any blockages in your carotid arteries. We will start with a neck exam using a stethoscope. We will then proceed to image tests such as:

  • UltrasoundAn ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image of the body’s internal structures. It is painless and performed on top of the skin using a small, handheld wand device. We can use an ultrasound to assess the blood flow through the arteries and determine if there are any blockages or narrowing.
  • CT Scan – A computed tomography angiography uses a CT scanner to take X-rays to obtain detailed images of internal organs. We can use this device to obtain a detailed view of the carotid arteries. We inject dye into the bloodstream, which will show blockages on the X-ray images.
  • Cerebral Angiography – A cerebral angiopathy uses a catheter inserted into the arteries to assess a blockage. We inject dye into the arteries to highlight the blockage.
  • MRA – A magnetic resonance angiography is like a CT scan but uses magnetic imaging technology rather than X-rays.

Carotid Artery Disease Treatment

Our carotid artery disease treatment includes lifestyle modification, disease management, and medications. We will recommend that you follow a heart-healthy diet, exercise daily, limit your alcohol intake, and stop smoking. We may prescribe a therapeutic daily dose of aspirin and/or other medications to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol. If you have had a TIA or stroke, you will likely need surgical intervention. We may recommend a carotid endarterectomy, during which we will make an incision in the carotid artery to remove plaque. We may also place a stent to open the artery and block the plaque from the blood flow.

Schedule a Consultation With Our Specialists

Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our Arizona Vein & Laser Institute specialists. We have six convenient locations in Mesa, Chandler, Glendale, Surprise, Avondale, and Phoenix. Each location is staffed with medical specialists and highly-skilled cardiovascular surgeons. Same-day appointments are often available, so call us now to get started.

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