A stroke is one of the most devastating effects of cardiovascular disease. It is the third leading cause of death in the country, leaving patients who have suffered from a stroke with significant functional deficits. There are over 70,000 stroke cases that occur in the United States every year. Carotid artery disease is one of the most common yet preventable causes of stroke.

What is carotid artery disease and why does it lead to stroke?

Carotid arteries are blood vessels that deliver blood to the brain and the head. When there is obstruction in this blood flow, cell death and consequently, a stroke can happen. Carotid artery disease develops slowly. People who are most susceptible to this disease are those with high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, diabetes, and those who smoke.

How can Vascular Surgeons help?

Vascular Surgeons are specialists who  do more than just Vascular surgeries. They diagnose vascular issues, perform duplex scans, and perform procedures such as carotid angioplasty, carotid endarterectomy, and stenting.

If you’re at high risk or already have carotid artery disease, it’s important to see a Vascular surgeon before it can lead to further complications like stroke. The treatment for carotid artery disease depends on the severity and location of the blockage (determined by doing carotid duplex ultrasound) and your symptoms. Stroke can change your life.

If you are at risk of developing carotid artery disease or suspect that you have one, it’s important to see a specialist immediately. Premier Surgical Associates has the largest group of board-certified, fellowship-trained Vascular Surgeons in the Knoxville area. To request a Vascular appointment, you can fill out the form here.