Overview

Carotid Artery Disease

Blockages in the carotid arteries, which supply the brain with blood, cause about 25 percent of preventable strokes, one of the most feared illnesses of the elderly. These blockages are caused by atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.

In its early stages, carotid artery disease may not have any symptoms until you experience what's commonly called a "mini-stroke" or transient ischemic attack (TIA). If your doctor suspects you have carotid artery disease, it can be easily diagnosed using ultrasound or other imaging technology.

Our Approach to Carotid Artery Disease

UCSF offers compassionate, cutting-edge care for patients with carotid artery disease, a major cause of preventable strokes. For less serious cases, the treatment plan may include lifestyle changes, medications and careful monitoring of the narrowed artery. If the condition progresses, we offer traditional surgery as well as a less invasive option, called balloon angioplasty and stenting, to remove the blockage and restore normal blood flow. UCSF's vascular surgery program has performed carotid artery surgery to prevent strokes for more than five decades.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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