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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Carotid Artery Disease and Stroke Prevention Treatment

Depending on the severity of your condition, treatment for carotid artery disease may include one or more of the following:

Medical Therapy

  • Medication
    • Lipid Lowering medication (statins)
    • Blood pressure medication
    • Anti-platelet medication (Aspirin and/or Plavix)
  • Risk Factor Modification

Open Surgery: Carotid Endarterectomy

Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is the surgical removal of atherosclerotic plaque from the carotid arteries. CEA is performed as an open procedure through an incision in the neck. CEA opens up the artery to allow for normal blood flow to the brain and prevent plaque or blood clots from traveling to the brain.


Minimally-Invasive Endovascular Therapy: Angioplasty and Stenting

Carotid artery angioplasty and stenting are performed to open up the carotid artery blockage and increase blood flow to the brain. A long, thin, flexible tube (catheter) with a balloon tip is inserted into an artery in the groin. Guided by X-ray and a contrast "dye," the tube is threaded to the site of the carotid artery blockage. Once it is in place, the balloon is inflated and the plaque is pushed against the artery wall. A stent, a tiny mesh coil often made of a nickel titanium metal alloy, is then placed to prop open the carotid artery. The stent is permanent.


At the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, we evaluate our clinical outcomes so that we can fully understand how our treatments and procedures benefit our patients. We regularly review and evaluate our clinical outcomes and, based on the results, develop methods to monitor and improve the healthcare we offer to our vascular patients.

Patient Story

Individuals from across the country travel to the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute to receive exceptional patient care and the most advanced treatments available. Meet our patient who was successfully treated for carotid artery disease.

Clinical Trials

Ongoing clinical research trials at the Center for Vascular Disease are investigating new treatment options for carotid artery disease to ensure that our patients continue to receive the most innovative care in the country. For more information regarding these clinical trials, visit the Clinical Trials Unit of Northwestern, send an email or call 312-926-4000.

Contact Us Today

For more information regarding carotid artery disease and stroke prevention, please contact the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 866-662-8467. To schedule an appointment, please call 312-695-4965 or request a first-time appointment online.


Last UpdateNovember 23, 2012