You may have heard of balloon angioplasty and stenting as a treatment for coronary artery disease (CAD) or “heart disease.” This treatment is occasionally also used in place of surgery for carotid artery disease, which is a disease process in which a fatty substance called plaque builds up in the arteries and can narrow them or lead to blockages. Carotid angioplasty and stenting work by reopening a blockage in the carotid arteries through a thin tube called a catheter and then propping the affected artery open with a mesh tube called a stent. Today, carotid angioplasty and stenting is used with similar efficacy and safety as surgical carotid endarterectomy.
Who is it for?
Suppose diagnostic tests have revealed that you have a severe carotid artery blockage, but you are at high risk of undergoing surgery. In that case, you may be treated with carotid angioplasty and stenting. A doctor performs the procedure with special training in catheter-based therapies, such as an interventional cardiologist, interventional radiologist, or vascular surgeon.