In a carotid endarteretomy, a surgeon removes the lining of a carotid artery narrowed by atherosclerosis. This is accomplished by making an incision in the neck, revealing the diseased carotid artery, clamping it at either end of the diseased portion, and then making an incision in the vessel wall.
The blocked area is exposed to reveal the plaque buildup of atherosclerosis. The plaque is then scraped away and removed, along with any blood clot that has formed. The incision is stitched closed, and the blood flows more freely to the brain.
Last updated: 26-May-04