Carotid Artery Surgery

Restores Healthy Blood Flow To The Brain, Preventing Stroke

Carotid artery surgery performed by the board certified vascular surgeons at The Vein and Vascular Institute of Tampa Bay offers quick recovery time because it can be performed using the most advanced minimally-invasive surgical techniques, such as balloon angioplasty and stenting.

Applying the revolutionary TCAR (TransCarotid Artery Revascularization) procedure offers our patients the safest and most effective carotid artery disease treatment available anywhere.

With over 130,000 unexpected deaths caused by carotid artery blockage (carotid artery disease), our Tampa vascular surgeons recommend getting treatment as soon as carotid artery blockage has reached a dangerous level because carotid artery disease can become fatal.

Carotid Artery Disease Can Lead To Stroke If Left Untreated

Carotid artery disease is a very serious medical condition because it can go unnoticed and because blockage in the carotid artery only increases with time and can cause a stroke if left untreated.

Three Million Americans are currently suffering from personal and financial losses because of the physical and mental disabilities caused by stroke.

Out of the 795,000 yearly strokes that happen in the United States, approximately 265,000 of them were related to carotid artery disease.

Carotid artery disease is one of the deadliest vascular diseases affecting Americans today because it has unexpectedly taken the lives of thousands of people through stroke.

Over 265,000 Strokes Are Due To Carotid Artery Disease Annually in The U.S.

What Causes Carotid Artery Disease?

Carotid artery disease is caused by plaque build-up that is made up of cholesterol, calcium and fibrous tissue in the neck (carotid) artery.

As the accumulation of plaque in the carotid artery increases with time, the blood flow to the brain becomes restricted. This restriction of blood flow to the brain is what eventually leads to a stroke.

Having a stroke can unexpectedly take your life or leave you severely disabled.

Carotid Artery Disease Risk Factors

Carotid artery disease (accumulation of plaque inside the neck arteries) can go unnoticed, without symptoms for years, until suddenly, a stroke occurs.

It is for this reason that it is important to know whether or not you may at risk of developing carotid artery disease due to a family history, lifestyle or age.

The following may put you at a higher risk of developing carotid artery disease:

  • You are over the age of 60;
  • Smoking;
  • Diabetes;
  • High cholesterol;
  • Obesity;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Lack of exercise;
  • Poor diet;
  • Family history of stroke or atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries);

Carotid Artery Disease Symptoms

Unfortunately, someone could have carotid artery disease and show absolutely no symptoms.

One of the warning signs of carotid arterial disease, is the occurrence of something called a “mini-stroke” (or transient ischemic attack – TIA). A TIA is a temporary episode where a person experiences numbness or weakness in the arm, leg or face on one side of the body, loss of vision in one or both eyes, difficulty understanding what someone else is saying, slurred speech, difficulty talking, a loss of coordination, ringing in the ears, dizziness or confusion and/or trouble swallowing. This episode can last just a few minutes, or can continue for up to 24 hours.

If you have ever experienced any of the symptoms related to TIA, it is highly recommended that you get a vascular screening as soon as possible to see if you have any blockage in your carotid artery. Carotid artery blockage will only worsen with time, leading to a stroke, which can be fatal or that could leave you disabled for life.

Carotid Artery Blockage Treatment Tampa

Depending on the extent of the blockage discovered in the carotid artery, your doctor might simply recommend lifestyle adjustments, medication, minimally-invasive procedures or, as a last resort, carotid endarterectomy.

If a little narrowing is discovered, but does not pose an immediate risk our Tampa vascular surgeons may recommend that the patient stick to a healthy diet, follow a formal exercise plan, and stop smoking, if they smoke. Depending on the individual and their overall health, medication may be prescribed to keep the disease under control and prevent it from progressing.

If a patient has diabetes or high blood pressure and has also been diagnosed with carotid artery disease, the diabetes and high blood pressure must be brought under control, since they are contributing factors to the disease and may cause it progress more quickly.

If after following all the recommendations of our vascular doctors to stop the progression of the disease, the carotid artery blockage continues to worsen, or if the blockage has reached a dangerous level, minimally-invasive procedures such as balloon angioplasty and stent deployment can be performed to improve blood flow through the carotid artery.

Balloon angioplasty is a type of carotid artery blockage treatment where a balloon catheter is used to widen the narrowed or obstructed artery. During stent deployment (carotid stenting) a wire mesh tube, or stent is placed inside the narrowed artery to keep the artery open for improved blood flow.

TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR)
For Carotid Artery Disease

Using the revolutionary TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) procedure, our board certified vascular surgeons offer the most advanced and safest carotid artery disease treatment available anywhere.

During the TCAR procedure, a small incision is made at the base of the neck, just above the collarbone. A puncture is made into the carotid artery and a small tube is placed inside the artery.

This tube is connected to a system that temporarily directs blood flow away from the brain to protect against dangerous debris from reaching the brain during the procedure. Any small bits of plaque that may break off during the procedure are diverted away from the brain, preventing a stroke from happening.

The blood is then filtered and returned to a vein through a second tube placed in the groin. While the brain is protected during this temporary flow reversal, a stent is placed in the carotid artery to stabilize the plaque and is intended to help prevent against future stroke. The blood flow is then returned to normal and the system is removed.

The entire procedure usually takes less than an hour. Patients can be either asleep or awake during the TCAR procedure and patients are typically held overnight for observation.

At The Vein and Vascular Institute, we are proud to have some of the top vascular surgeons in the Tampa Bay area, such as Dr. Brandt Jones, who was one of the first vascular surgeons in the Tampa area to use the revolutionary TCAR procedure (TransCarotid Artery Revascularization) to provide the safest and most effective carotid artery disease treatment available anywhere in the world.

How Is TCAR Better For Patients?

TCAR has a very low procedural stroke rate. It is also less invasive than open surgery, so there’s less chance for surgical complications like heart attacks, infection and nerve injury. TCAR patients also recover quickly and almost always go home the next day with less pain and smaller scars.

TCAR is recommended for patients who are considered high risk for traditional surgery due to age, anatomic issues and other medical conditions. A physician will determine if the TCAR procedure is right for a patient on a case-by-case basis based on his/her medical history and workup.

Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA) For Carotid Artery Disease

If your vascular surgeon determines that less invasive procedures are not an option, a carotid endarterectomy (CEA) may be performed. During a CEA plaque is actually scraped away and removed from the blocked carotid artery through a small incision in the skin. CEA is a traditional, open surgery.

Carotid Artery Disease Treatment Specialists

The Board Certified Vascular Surgeons at The Vein and Vascular Institute of Tampa Bay have helped thousands of patients suffering from carotid artery disease, reducing their risk of having a stroke. Our vascular surgeons are experts in carotid artery surgery and they are of the few vascular surgeons in Tampa who have hospital staff privileges at major hospitals such as St. Joseph’s Hospital.

At our Nationally Accredited Vascular Laboratory, we offer state-of-the-art therapies and we are equipped with the most advanced ultrasound equipment for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. Our mission is to always provide compassionate and individualized care to all our patients.

The PRO-NOX™ system is a self-administered nitrous oxide and oxygen analgesia system that allows you to control how much pain and anxiety relief you receive by inhaling the gas through a tube you place in your mouth. You will feel the effects immediately, helping you to relax through your procedure. The gas mixture clears from your body within minutes, so you will be alert and able to function safely after the procedure.

Right after varicose vein treatment patients are actually able to walk right out of the treatment room.

If you live in the Tampa, Florida area and you think that you are at high risk for carotid artery disease, or if you have experienced any of its symptoms, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with us for a consultation.

simple vascular screening can be performed in our office to see whether or not you have developed blockage in your carotid artery and if you are in danger of having a stroke.

Give us a call today at (813) 348-9088 to schedule a vascular consultation with one of our board certified vascular surgeons.