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What is Carotid Artery Disease?

Carotid artery disease is a condition that occurs when the blood vessels supplying the brain become clogged with fatty deposits called plaques. A blockage is a medical emergency that can lead to stroke.

Windermere Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid Artery Disease Overview

Carotid artery disease (CAD) is a cardiovascular condition that develops in the blood vessels supplying the brain, usually because of high cholesterol levels. Circulating lipoproteins slowly damage the artery walls, leading to the formation of plaques – unstable fatty deposits on the inside of the blood vessel. If a plaque breaks away, it can create a blockage that deprives the brain of blood, leading to a stroke.

Stroke is the most common cause of death in the US – and a leading cause of disability. Unfortunately, there are virtually no symptoms of carotid artery disease before a stroke occurs. Patients only feel the effects once the plaque finally breaks away and prevents blood from traveling to the brain.

Symptoms of stroke include sudden trouble seeing and dizziness, profound weakness in the body, including drooping of the face, and severe headaches with no known cause. If you have any of these symptoms (or a combination), seek emergency medical assistance immediately.

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Take the first step. Get your questions answered and find out which treatment option is best for your personal situation by meeting with one of our knowledgeable providers at Vascular Experts for an in-person consultation. Simply fill out the form on this page, and one of our experienced team members will reach out to you promptly to schedule your consultation.

How to Treat Carotid Artery Disease

At The Vascular Experts, Florida, we take a multi-faceted approach to treating CAD. We believe that the best way to deal with the disease is through a combination of medication and lifestyle modifications.

If Dr. Lina Vargas diagnoses carotid artery disease, she will consult with you about simple lifestyle changes you can make that dramatically lower the risk of embolism (clot) formation. Regular exercise, eating healthily, and quitting smoking are all powerful ways to reduce your risk of a stroke. In fact, small changes like these have been shown to reduce the extent of arterial narrowing over time.

Dr. Vargas will also recommend and prescribe medications designed to amplify the effects of your lifestyle changes. She may issue statins (medications that reduce cholesterol levels in the blood), blood-thinning and antiplatelet medications (to reduce clotting and blockages), and antihypertensives (to lower blood pressure). 

If your carotid artery is more than 70 percent blocked by fatty deposits or plaque, The Vascular Experts may also recommend carotid endarterectomy surgery. Here, an incision in the neck is made close to the blocked artery, the dangerous plaque causing the narrowing is removed, and then a patch is used to close the artery to prevent narrowing.  We may also recommend carotid stenting which involves placing a prosthetic in the artery to gently widen it, permitting greater blood flow.

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Take the Next Step – Request a Consultation

If you would like to learn more about Carotid Artery Disease Schedule a Consultation today with The Vascular Experts Florida at our Windermere, FL location.

You can also call to make your appointment by calling our office at (407) 612-7738.

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