Surgery to remove the build up of fatty deposits in the artery

Vascular surgery that helps prevent strokes and improve blood flow

What is an endarterectomy?

A carotid endarterectomy involves removing a calcified build-up (plaque) on the inner wall of an artery to help prevent strokes and improve blood flow in narrowed arteries.

It's usually carried out on the arteries of the lower limbs but can be performed on any artery.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    An endarterectomy can be carried out under general or local anaesthetic. If you have a general anaesthetic, you'll be asleep. Local anaesthetic numbs the affected area. For a carotid endarterectomy, your surgeon makes a cut in your neck. For a femoral endarterectomy, they make a cut in your groin. Once they access your artery, they close off the blood flow and cut into the place where it has narrowed. They then remove the inner lining and fatty deposits. Your artery will be closed with stitches or a special patch.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved in an endarterectomy. Your consultant will take the time to explain these to you and answer any questions you have. They'll tell you how to prepare and if you're having general anaesthetic, they'll let you know how long to avoid eating and drinking before your procedure.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You'll be cared for in hospital overnight or until your consultant thinks you're well enough to go home. You won't be able to drive so please arrange for someone to collect you. You'll probably feel sore for a few days — pain relief may help with this. Your consultant will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine including driving, work and exercise.

Paying for medical treatment

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Our locations in London, Birmingham and Cheshire

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

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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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