A common treatment for carotid artery disease is carotid endarterectomy.
How does it work?
During a carotid endarterectomy, Dr. Lam makes a small incision in the front of the neck. He then removes the plaque with a special tool and repairs the artery with stitches, a natural graft made from a piece of another artery or with a woven patch. Once the procedure is successfully completed, full blood flow is restored to the brain, significantly reducing the risk of stroke.
Dr. Lam recommends carotid endarterectomy for patients with severe blockages (more than 80%) or with moderate blockages (between 50-79%) with or without symptoms of stroke or transient ischemic attacks (“mini-strokes”). The procedure is highly effective and usually only requires a one-night hospital stay.
Dr. Lam is an experienced, meticulous vascular surgeon who takes every precaution to prevent complications. Like with most procedures, patients who undergo carotid endarterectomy may experience some mild numbness or discomfort at the incision site that usually improves within a few days after surgery.
What happens next?
After a carotid endarterectomy, patients will visit Dr. Lam for a follow-up appointment at least once a year. During this visit, patients will undergo a carotid artery ultrasound to ensure no new plaque has accumulated in the artery. Dr. Lam may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as adopting a healthier diet or smoking cessation, to prevent the reaccumulation of plaque.