Carotid Artery Disease Specialist

Vascular Associates of San Diego

Vein Specialists & Vascular Specialists located in San Diego County, La Mesa, CA

Around 3% of Americans over 65 have carotid artery disease — and this disease causes up to 20% of all strokes today. At Vascular Associates of San Diego in La Mesa, California, serving all of San Diego County, a premier team of top vascular disease specialists is ready to diagnose and treat your carotid artery disease now. There’s no reason to risk your life when innovative solutions can help, so call the office or use the online scheduling system to book your appointment now.

Carotid Artery Disease Q & A

What is carotid artery disease?

Carotid artery disease develops when the arteries that supply blood to your brain grow clogged or narrowed. This restricts blood and oxygen delivery to your brain, which increases the risk of stroke. 

When you have a stroke, your brain cells can start dying within minutes. Stroke is one of the most common causes of disability and death among Americans today. 

What are the symptoms of carotid artery disease?

Unfortunately, there usually aren't any symptoms of carotid artery disease because it develops quite slowly. 

Some sufferers only learn that they have carotid artery disease after experiencing a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA), a brief interruption in brain blood flow marked by stroke-like symptoms.

Symptoms of stroke or TIA can include:

  • Facial or limb numbness
  • Facial or limb weakness
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Dizziness
  • Severe headache

If you experience a possible stroke or TIA, seek emergency care immediately. 

How is carotid artery disease treated?

Carotid artery disease treatment focuses on stroke prevention. The Vascular Associates of San Diego team reviews your stroke risk factors — including high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, and heart disease — and helps you make necessary changes. 

Lifestyle changes and medication can minimize inflammation to reduce stroke risk, but it won't stop the existing blockage from expanding. 

The team monitors mild blockages regularly with ultrasound testing so they can recommend immediate action if your blockage grows or becomes threatening. If you need surgical treatment, the options include:

Carotid angioplasty and stenting

For blockages that cause symptoms, or threatening blockages, the team may recommend carotid angioplasty and stenting, a procedure in which your surgeon opens up a blocked or narrowed carotid artery using a balloon catheter. 

Then, they place a stent, a mesh metal tube to maintain healthy blood flow and prevent the artery from narrowing again.

Transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR)

Vascular Associates of San Diego surgeons were the first in their area to perform the innovative transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) procedure. In this minimally invasive procedure, your surgeon uses a special device during stent insertion to minimize stroke risk. 

Your surgeon accesses the carotid artery using a tiny incision above the collarbone. Then, they do a short-term blood flow reversal to shield the brain from any debris as they remove the plaques causing the clog. Then, your surgeon places a stent to keep the artery open.

With expert attention to your carotid artery disease, you need not worry about stroke and its debilitating effects. 

Call the Vascular Associates of San Diego office or click online scheduling for help now.