• question-icon

    Suggest treatment for clogged carotid arteries

Posted on Fri, 13 Mar 2015 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: To clean plaque out of carotid arteries, what does "medical therapy" mean. Does this mean if the clogging is below 70%, it can be treated without any surgery?
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 29 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Medical therapy includes cholesterol lowering drugs and blood thinners

Detailed Answer:
Hi Seells,
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.
Carotid arteries are important blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. Many people develop plaques in the carotid arteries which reduce the blood supply to brain and this can lead to stroke like symptoms. If the plaque gets detached and travels into the arteries in the brain then the patient can have a stroke.

Medical therapy is the use of medications and making therapeutic lifestyle changes to control the plaque formation and make efforts to reduce its size. This usually includes medications like cholesterol lowering drugs and blood thinners. Lifestyle changes include eating a healthy heart friendly diet and reducing the consumption of excessive fats and alcohol. Medical therapy works in most people having clogging of carotid arteries.

To avoid complications, any plaques in the carotid arteries needs to be treated if it causes significant blockage. A clogging less than 50 percent might be treated with medications only.

Clogging more than 50 percent requires treatment with medications and minimally invasive methods like coronary angioplasty or stenting. Severe clogging requires a surgical procedure called endarterectomy in which the clogging plaque is removed surgically by making a slit in the wall of the carotid artery in the neck region and after plaque removal the walls of the artery are stitched together with normal restoration of blood flow.

Medical therapy is indicated in patients who might not be ideal candidates for surgery due to advanced age or anesthesia limitations.

The choice of treatment depends on the amount of clogging and general condition and fitness of the patient for surgical procedures.

Hope this answers your question. Please feel free to correct any oversight in my interpretation of your problems and discuss them in detail as per your requirements.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back if you have any doubts.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
Answered by
Dr. Vivek Chail


Practicing since :2002

Answered : 6710 Questions


The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on

Recent questions on  Endarterectomy

doctor1 MD

Having fluttering sensation on right side of neck for last 3 days since getting a CT scan (possible TIA ). 50-60% blockage in R carotid. Left...

doctor1 MD

hi doctor: im 46 years male from iraq.smoker.hypertensive.diabetic.and positive family history of ischemic heart disesase. befor one mounth i had a...

doctor1 MD

Hello sir,dis s dr..rajkumari.my mom had an attack of cva 2 wks back.nw she recovered from dat.we did carotid doppler it shows there s >70% stenosis...

doctor1 MD

i am losing weight . The only number in my blood work is down. The only number in my blood work that is down is my hemoglobin . it is 9.5. I had a...

doctor1 MD

yes thank you...55 yo male with a hx of cardiac endarterectomy , in the hospital now c/o of chest pains, hgb is 7. had an egd/ colonoscopy which...

doctor1 MD

my mom had a CVA 1 3/4 weeks ago, she is going to have a R carotid endarterectomy on Nov. 9th and wants to fly from chicago to NY the first week of...

doctor1 MD

Dear Sir, Please Help, I have required some information regarding brain Ischemic stroke. Please tell us is it possible that 100% blockage of Right...

Get personalised answers from verified doctor in minutes across 80+ specialties

127 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM Blog Questions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction
Questions Answered By Dr. Vivek Chail
  • Q - Done with CAT scan and ultrasound. Taking Testosterone. Ultrasound...

  • Q - Scheduled for fusion of vertebeae and laminectomy. Should I go ahead...

  • Q - Fell down and hurt chest. What are the findings in the x-ray report?

  • Q - Is there any treatment to increase the size of penis?

  • Q - Had a history of colon cancer and had bowel resection. Left butt is...

  • Q - Swollen lymph nodes under arms and groin hurts and have sores. Could...

  • Q - Suffered arachnoid hemorrhage after head injury. Suffer constant...

  • Q - What is the cause for itchy underarms?

  • Q - On warfarin for PE. Having bleeding from rectum. Should I go to the ER?

  • Q - Taking amoxicillin for sinus infection. Slight fluctuations in...