Carotid artery disease occurs when fatty deposits deposit on the wall of the arteries leading to narrowing of the carotid arteries that supply blood to the brain leading to increased chances of stroke. This usually develops slowly and the first sign may be a transient ischaemic attack in which the blood supply to the brain is temporarily disrupted. The symptoms of TIA are similar to that of an ischemic stroke but they’re only felt for a short period of time. The diagnosis is done by a CT or MRI Angiogram, in which a contrast dye is injected into your blood vessels and images of your neck and brain blood vessels are gathered.
The eventual goal of treatment of carotid artery disease is to prevent stroke. Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, losing weight, eating healthy and regular exercise helps. Medications to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels are also important. the treatment includes blood thinners and in moderate to severe stenosis, removal of the blockage is recommended.
This is done either by a procedure called carotid endarterectomy, in which a surgeon makes an incision along the front of your neck, opens the affected carotid artery and removes the plaque; or by Minimally invasive procedure ie Endovascular Carotid Angioplasty and Stenting.