The carotid arteries are blood vessels that run along both sides of your neck, delivering oxygen-rich blood to your brain. If you have carotid artery disease, these vessels become narrow from a buildup of cholesterol-based plaque. The narrowing can cause health problems such as stroke and the deterioration of brain tissue due to a lack of oxygen.
If you have questions about treatment for carotid artery disease in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV, Find a Doctor or call (702) 616-4900 for a referral to one of our trusted specialists at Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospitals.
Symptoms of Carotid Artery Disease
Many people do not experience any symptoms of carotid artery disease until the disease is advanced. A transient ischemic attack (TIA or “mini-stroke”) or stroke may be the first sign of carotid artery disease.
Your doctor may discover the condition during a routine exam, while listening to your heart. Bruit (pronounced “broo-EE”) is a characteristic whooshing sound from narrowed carotid arteries that can be heard with a stethoscope. A vascular ultrasound can confirm carotid stenosis (narrowing).
Carotid Artery Disease Causes
Carotid artery disease is caused by the buildup of fatty plaques on the walls of the arteries.
Risk factors for carotid artery disease are the same as for heart disease and include:
- High cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Persistently high blood sugar levels
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Growing older (risk increases with age because the disease can take several decades to develop)
Treating Carotid Artery Disease in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV
At Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospitals, your carotid artery disease treatment will likely focus on reducing the buildup of fatty plaques that clog the blood vessels. Your doctor may suggest the following strategies to keep the disease from worsening.
- Quitting smoking
- Eating a heart-healthy diet
- Exercising most days of the week
- Taking medications to reduce blood cholesterol levels, hypertension, and other heart-related conditions or to prevent blood clots
- Surgery to either remove the plaque from the carotid arteries or insert stents to hold the carotid arteries open
If surgery is the right option for you, our St. Rose Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Program provides advanced options for carotid artery disease, including beating heart surgery and transmyocardial laser revascularization.
Take our online heart health assessment or join one of our heart health classes to see how you can better care for your heart.
Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospitals offers expert care and treatment for patients with carotid artery disease in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.