Carotid angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure where a catheter with a balloon tip is inserted into a carotid artery (the two large arteries on each side of the neck) and inflated to compress the plaque buildup in the blocked area. This procedure is performed in a state-of-the-art cardiovascular catheterization laboratory. A catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the arm or upper thigh (groin). Using high-resolution fluoroscopic (X-ray) video and film equipment, the catheter is guided through to the carotid artery that is being treated. Once the catheter is in place the balloon is inflated and the narrowed carotid artery is stretched open. The fatty plaque or blockage is pressed against the carotid artery walls enlarging the diameter of the carotid artery. After the blocked area of the carotid artery is widened, the balloon is deflated and removed. Blood flowing through the peripheral artery is increased, and oxygenated blood can be supplied to the neck and brain and help reduce the risk and prevent a stroke.
Carotid Stent Implants
Carotid stent implants are often performed in conjunction with carotid angioplasty. Carotid stent implants help hold open the carotid artery so that blood can flow through the blocked or clogged carotid artery. A stent is a small, lattice-shaped wire mesh tube, which props open the artery and remains permanently in place. To implant the sent in the carotid artery, the stent is passed through the catheter and placed in the carotid artery.
These procedures are performed in a cardiovascular catheterization laboratory, with local anesthesia. An IV (intravenous line) into your arm or hand will provide you with medication to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
Patient Guides: Preparing for Cardiac and Peripheral Catheterization
- Heart & Vascular Care at Long Beach Memorial
- Heart & Vascular Care at Orange Coast Memorial
- Heart & Vascular Care at Saddleback Memorial - Laguna Hills
- Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology