Your carotid arteries are the two main blood vessels in the neck that supply your brain with fresh, oxygen-rich blood. Carotid artery disease occurs when fatty plaque deposits collect on artery walls and interfere with blood flow.
You may experience stroke or other serious health problems from carotid artery blockage. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to avoiding major complications.
Want to know if you are at risk for stroke? Take our free stroke risk assessment and discuss your results with a Dignity Health Central California doctor. Our providers deliver care with humankindness if you need carotid artery disease treatment in Central California.
Common Treatments for Carotid Artery Disease
Carotid artery disease treatment aims to prevent the loss of brain tissue due to poor oxygen supply and lower your risk of stroke. This can be accomplished by restoring proper flow of oxygen-rich blood to your brain.
There are several approaches to treating carotid artery disease. Depending on the details of your case, your Dignity Health Central California doctor will recommend a treatment strategy based on one or more of the following methods:
- Lifestyle changes — quitting smoking, eating a heart-healthy diet, and exercising regularly can help slow the disease and improve your overall health.
- Medications — can be used to treat underlying conditions, such as elevated cholesterol or blood sugar levels or hypertension, that contribute to the disease. Blood thinning medications are also sometimes prescribed to lower the risk of blood clots.
- Surgery — one surgical approach to improve blood flow to the brain involves the placement of stents inside your carotid arteries. Your doctor may also recommend an endarterectomy, a carotid artery surgery to remove the plaque-clogged lining of your arteries.
You may need a combination of these treatments to achieve your treatment goals.
Talking Through Your Treatment Options at Dignity Health Central California
Your doctor will consider several factors in determining the best strategy to treat your carotid artery disease. These factors include your age, overall health, the severity of your condition, and your personal preferences.
If you have not experienced a major complication such as stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), you may opt for a conservative, noninvasive approach to treatment. However, surgery is likely to be recommended if you have had a stroke or your condition is severe.
Be sure to ask about the risks, benefits, and likely outcomes of all available treatments.
How to Prevent Carotid Artery Disease
Follow these tips to reduce your risk:
- Adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle, including a nutritious diet and regular exercise
- Do not smoke
- If you have type 2 diabetes, adequately control your blood sugar levels
- Maintain recommended body weight
- Treat underlying heart conditions, such as hypertension and high cholesterol
To have a detailed discussion about your heart and vascular health with a knowledgeable provider, Find a Doctor at Dignity Health Central California today.
Dignity Health Central California provides advanced carotid artery disease treatments in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.