What is Carotid Artery Stenosis
The carotid arteries are the vessels which are responsible the transport of blood to the front part of the brain.
Over time the same process which clogs coronary arteries (resulting in a heart attack) narrows the carotid vessels. This hardening of the arteries and build up of fatty plaques reduces flow to important parts of the brain, and grit from here can fly to the brain and cause stroke.
Carotid Artery Stenosis and Stroke
There is strong evidence that if you have had a stroke, and a narrowing in the carotid (neck) artery is present, urgent treatment to remove the narrowing is needed. This can be done with surgery (carotid endarterectomy) or a carotid artery stent. The use of stents is being tested in clinical trials and Dr Malik is involved in several of these trials.
If you have not had a stroke and a carotid artery narrowing is found, then there is some evidence that treating it may still be of benefit. The risks and benefits of just continuing medication, having surgery, or having a stent will need to be discussed with you before can decide on what is best for you.