Carotid endarterectomy

Head and neck carotid artery surgery

Carotid surgery can be carried out by HCA UK’s experts to unblock the carotid artery to restore blood flow

What is a carotid endarterectomy?

Carotid surgery (carotid endarterectomy) is a surgical procedure to remove a build-up of fatty deposits, which cause a narrowing of a carotid artery in the neck. 

This surgery may be needed if conditions affecting the neck, such as carotid artery disease or stenosis of the carotid artery, narrow the main artery that leads to your brain from your neck restricting the blood flow and oxygen within the body.

The aim of carotid surgery is to open or clean the carotid artery with the goal of preventing complications in the future such as a stroke.

Need to know

  • What happens during carotid surgery? icon plus

    Carotid surgery usually takes one to two hours and is carried out under general or local anaesthetic. During surgery, your surgeon will decide whether to use a temporary shunt (hollow tube) to maintain adequate blood flow to the brain. When the surgeon has accessed your artery, it is clamped to stop the blood flowing and an opening is made across the length of the narrowing. If a shunt is to be used, it will be inserted. The surgeon removes the inner lining of the narrowed section of your artery, with any fatty deposits or plaque. Once the narrowing has been removed, the artery opening will either be closed with stitches or a special patch.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Before your treatment, your consultant will carefully explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you might have. The procedure itself may be carried out with a local anaesthetic or you may have a general anaesthetic. You may be asked to avoid eating or drinking a few hours before the procedure. As with all surgery, there may be some risks or side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • After your surgery icon plus

    You will be moved to the recovery area, where you'll be looked after by our team of consultants and nurse specialists. You may have some discomfort in your neck where the cut was made but this will be controlled with painkillers.

    You may also experience some numbness around the wound, which disappears after a while. Most people can eat and drink a few hours after surgery and are usually able to leave hospital within 48 hours. The majority of people are able to drive two to three weeks afterwards and can return to work after three or four weeks.

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We're proud to work with leading surgical experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our locations in London

From complex surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional medical and surgical care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Private Carotid artery surgery in Birmingham

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Our team can help with any enquiries or you can make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

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020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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