Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the body. Sometimes plaque or fatty deposits build up in arteries and block or restrict the flow of blood. This can increase the risk of stroke or other conditions. To treat these conditions, your doctor may recommend an endarterectomy to clear away the plaque or deposits and restore blood flow. Our expert team offers a range of endarterectomy procedures.
What is an endarterectomy?
An endarterectomy procedure clears out a blocked artery to allow blood flow to return to normal. Your surgeon clears the artery by removing the diseased material or deposits. This ensures the blood vessel has a smooth lining so blood can flow freely. An endarterectomy is often used on carotid arteries—blood vessels in the neck that supply blood to the brain—to reduce the risk of stroke. We also use endarterectomy on blood vessels that supply blood to the legs. Femoral, aortic and pulmonary are other types of endarterectomies.
What to expect
To perform an endarterectomy, your surgeon makes a cut to expose the diseased artery. Plaque is then peeled away from the artery wall. In some cases, your surgeon will patch the artery with artificial material or a piece of artery from another part of your body. The incision is then stitched or sealed. Stitches are removed about a week after surgery, or your surgeon may place stitches that dissolve on their own.
During an endarterectomy, we use general anesthesia so you will be asleep during the procedure and not feel pain.
Recovery after an endarterectomy
Most patients stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days before going home, returning to normal activity in a few weeks. Your experience will depend on your condition and the type of procedure you have.