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Expert Carotid Artery Disease Treatment


Carotid arteries are the two main blood vessels that supply your brain with fresh, oxygen-rich blood. Carotid artery disease develops as fatty plaque deposits begin to restrict blood flow in these two arteries. If both carotid arteries become fully blocked, you may experience a stroke or other serious health consequences. 

Early diagnosis and treatment of carotid artery disease allow you the best chance of avoiding stroke. 

Do you know if you are at risk for heart conditions such as carotid artery disease? Take our free heart risk assessment and Carotid arteries are the two main blood vessels that supply your brain with fresh, oxygen-rich blood. Carotid artery disease develops as fatty plaque deposits begin to restrict blood flow in these two arteries. If both carotid arteries become fully blocked, you may experience a stroke or other serious health consequences. 

Early diagnosis and treatment of carotid artery disease allow you the best chance of avoiding stroke. 

Do you know if you are at risk for heart conditions such as carotid artery disease in the Bay Area? Take our free heart risk assessment and Find a Doctor in the Bay Area at Dignity Health to discuss your results.   

Treating Carotid Artery Disease at Dignity Health

Common treatments for carotid artery disease include: 

  • Lifestyle changes. Improving your overall health can help prevent carotid artery disease from progressing. Your doctor may recommend that you quit smoking, eat a heart-healthy diet, and exercise regularly.
  • Medications. If you have an underlying condition, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol or blood sugar, your doctor may prescribe some medication to treat those risk factors. Your treatment plan may also include medication to reduce your risk of blood clots.   
  • Surgery. Inserting one or more stents in your carotid arteries can improve blood flow. An endarterectomy, a more invasive carotid artery surgery that removes the plaque-clogged lining, can also be considered. 

Increasing the amount of oxygen-rich blood to your brain helps you reduce your risk of stroke and avoid the loss of brain tissue due to oxygen loss. 

Weighing Your Treatment Options

Your Dignity Health doctor will discuss with you all available treatment options. When selecting the best treatment for you, your doctor will consider the severity of your disease, your age, overall health, and your personal preferences. 

Your doctor may recommend a more conservative approach if you have not experienced a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). However, if you have had a stroke or TIA, your doctor’s recommendation may include more invasive treatments, such as surgery. 

Discuss the risk, benefits, and likely outcomes of each recommended treatment before you make a decision. 

How to Prevent Carotid Artery Disease

Leading a heart-healthy lifestyle can help you reduce your risk of carotid artery disease. More specific steps include:

  • Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise
  • Treating heart-related conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Managing your blood sugar levels closely if you have diabetes
  • Quitting smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

At Dignity Health, we focus on treating the entire person, not just the condition. Our cardiac care team can help you make a plan for leading a heart-healthy life. Learn more about our services. 

Dignity Health health professionals can answer your questions about heart care relating to carotid artery disease treatment in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.