Carotid arteries located in the neck have a very important job: through them flows the blood that carries the oxygen and nutrients the brain needs to work properly—and to power the myriad functions of the body. Carotid artery disease develops when the arteries narrow or become blocked due to fatty plaque build up (also known as atherosclerosis). A somewhat silent disease—that may not produce obvious signs or symptoms—carotid artery blockage is a major cause of stroke.
At the NorthShore Neurological Institute, uniquely qualified multidisciplinary specialists provide the latest diagnostic and carotid artery blockage treatment options for patients with carotid artery disease through a service of our stroke program. As experts in stroke and other disorders affecting vessels that supply blood to the brain, our Acute Stroke Team is exceptionally suited for recognizing and preventing stroke, carotid artery blockage and other serious medical conditions as a result of carotid artery disease.
Carotid Artery Blockage Diagnosis and Treatment
At the NorthShore Neurological Institute, our highly skilled vascular and endovascular specialists conduct thorough evaluations of patients to determine the best course of carotid artery blockage treatment. Our team of fellowship-trained neurologists, neurosurgeons and other health professionals use a number of sophisticated imaging technologies, including carotid ultrasound, CT angiography of the neck, magnetic resonance angiography and catheter cerebral angiography, to look deep within the arteries and assess the extent of carotid artery blockage or damage.
Some patients may benefit from medications and lifestyle changes including diet; while others may be candidates for revascularization (opening up the narrowed artery) to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of stroke.
Our specialists offer carotid artery blockage treatments ranging from carotid endarterectomy—a surgical procedure to remove atherosclerotic plaque—to less-invasive techniques such as carotid angioplasty and stenting. Innovative minimally-invasive technologies allow our nationally-renowned interventional neurosurgeons to safely open up blockages in carotid arteries for patients who may not be candidates for other treatment options. These advanced surgical techniques feature local instead of general anesthesia, smaller incisions, less pain and shorter recovery times.
The NorthShore Neurological Institute’s endovascular neurosurgical team employs a variety of cutting-edge balloons and retrievable stents that are effective in reopening and repairing carotid artery blockage.
Team Care Advantage
Our NorthShore Neurological Institute experts use a collaborative approach, working with other disciplines within the NorthShore system, to ensure patients receive the best full-service, compassionate care. Since carotid artery blockage accounts for a significant proportion of strokes that occur in the United States, patients who come to our hospitals with transient stroke-like symptoms—often associated with narrowing of the arteries—benefit from the combined knowledge and experience of our Acute Stroke Team.
One of a few in the region to hold not only one but several Certified Stroke Center designations (at Evanston, Glenbrook, Highland Park and Skokie Hospitals), NorthShore meets the stringent requirements of the Joint Commission, including a 24/7 Acute Stroke Team.
For More Information
Please call 877.570.7020 for more information on carotid artery blockage and carotid endarterectomy or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.