Carotid endarterectomy is a procedure to treat carotid artery disease, a condition that occurs when fatty, waxy deposits build up in one of the arteries located on each side of your neck (carotid arteries). This buildup of plaques (atherosclerosis) may restrict blood flow to your brain. Removing plaques causing the narrowing in the artery can improve blood flow in your carotid arteries and reduce your risk of stroke.

In carotid endarterectomy, you receive local or general anesthetic. Your surgeon makes an incision along the front of your neck, opens your carotid artery and removes the plaques that are clogging your artery. Your surgeon then repairs the artery with stitches or a patch made with a vein or artificial material (patch graft).

Doctors may recommend carotid endarterectomy if you're experiencing symptoms or if you have more than 60 percent blockage in your arteries.

  • Experience. Mayo Clinic doctors trained in blood vessel surgery (vascular surgeons), brain surgery (neurosurgeons), brain conditions (neurologists), heart and blood vessel conditions (cardiologists), and imaging techniques (interventional neuroradiologists) have experience evaluating and treating people with carotid artery disease who may need carotid endarterectomy.
  • Team approach. Mayo Clinic doctors in many areas work together to provide you with coordinated care.
  • Treatment expertise. Mayo Clinic doctors and surgeons have expertise performing complex surgeries, including carotid endarterectomy, to treat carotid artery disease.
  • Research. Mayo Clinic doctors research new and improved treatments for carotid artery disease and conduct clinical trials.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery and for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic also ranks among the Best Children's Hospitals in neurology and neurosurgery and for heart and heart surgery.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Related book: Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life! book provides an easy-to-follow plan to prevent and conquer heart disease.

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Doctors trained in vascular surgery, neurosurgery and other areas care for people who have carotid endarterectomy at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. You may receive care at the Vascular Center.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in vascular surgery, neurosurgery and other areas care for people who have carotid endarterectomy at Mayo Clinic in Florida. You may receive care at the Vascular Center.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in vascular and endovascular surgery, neurosurgery, cerebrovascular diseases and neurological critical care, and other areas care for people who have carotid endarterectomy at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Staff in the Gonda Vascular Center cares for people with carotid artery disease and other vascular conditions.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Mayo Clinic doctors trained in blood vessel surgery (vascular surgeons), brain surgery (neurosurgeons) and others conduct research in carotid endarterectomy and other treatments for carotid artery disease.

Publications

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic doctors on carotid endarterectomy on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Read more about Mayo Clinic study results regarding carotid endarterectomy and carotid angioplasty and carotid angioplasty research.

Jan. 18, 2012