Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid artery disease, also known as carotid artery stenosis, refers to a narrowing of the carotid arteries, the two large blood vessels in the neck that supply oxygen-rich blood to the front part of the brain. The narrowing is caused by arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, in which waxy, fatty deposits known as plaques attach to the walls of the arteries. Over time, these plaques obstruct blood flow to the brain, increasing the risk of stroke, which is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Because carotid artery disease develops slowly, there may be no signs or symptoms until the arteries are almost completely blocked. The first outward sign may be a stroke.

At UAB Medicine, Cardiovascular Institute specialists provide expert treatment of multiple circulatory conditions using a broad range of services including medical therapy, endovascular therapy, and surgical reconstruction.

When you choose UAB to care for your vascular condition, you gain access to physicians who are leaders in their field for some of the most complex vascular conditions and who practice medicine with the latest cutting-edge treatment options. They have a highly successful track record of treating vascular disease. We maintain a robust research area that also manages clinical trials, which often lead to new modes of advanced therapy long before these treatments are available to the general public.

The Cardiovascular Institute experts at UAB work with each patient to arrive at a specific diagnosis and treatment plan based on medical history, physical exam, and non-invasive testing including ultrasound, Doppler with plethysmography, CT scans, and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).

UAB’s Cardiovascular Institute physicians include specialty-trained surgeons and medical doctors, offering both open and endovascular surgery options. These experts collaborate in your care, which is optimized with the most innovative treatments available in Alabama and the most modern facilities and equipment.

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