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​Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA) Surgery, Anatomy, and Complications

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Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is a type of surgery used to treat carotid stenosis that may lead to stroke or aneurysms, or to prevent stroke recurrence.

During this microsurgical procedure, a UPMC neurosurgeon removes plaque blocking the carotid artery in the neck.

Carotid Endarterectomy: What to Expect

Carotid endarterectomy involves a small incision in the neck, followed by dissection and localization of the carotid artery.

The artery is opened and all the "calcified fat" (atheroma) is removed from the artery to reestablish blood flow.

The neurosurgical team monitors the brain waves during surgery to make sure the brain is receiving enough blood throughout the procedure.

Other treatments for carotid stenosis

In some cases, instead of carotid endarterectomy, we may use one of the following minimally invasive techniques:


Aneurysms
Dr. Robert M. Friedlander discusses treatment options for unruptured aneurysms at UPMC.