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Carotid Artery Disease

The team of vascular specialists at UPMC in Central Pa. perform advanced procedures, including carotid artery stenting, to treat carotid artery disease.

Why choose UPMC in Central Pa. for carotid artery disease treatment?

Our vascular specialists have performed thousands of revascularization procedures with excellent outcomes and exceptionally low rates of stroke and death.

Our vascular specialists leading-edge technology and techniques to diagnose and treat carotid artery disease and offer a full range of tests and treatments, including:

Diagnostic Tests for Carotid Artery Disease

  • Imaging tests. If your doctor suspects that you have carotid artery disease, he or she may order an imaging test such as an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI, to check for problems in your carotid arteries.
  • CT angiography or MR angiography. During CT angiography or MR angiography, a special dye will be injected into your body. The dye will allow your doctor to see the blood flow in your carotid arteries on images taken during a CT or MRI scan.

Medications for Carotid Artery Disease

  • Carotid artery disease may be treated with medications that prevent blood clots or lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Surgical Procedures for Carotid Artery Disease

  • Carotid endarterectomy. During a carotid endarterectomy, your surgeon will make an incision on the side of your neck and open your carotid artery to remove the blockage.
  • Carotid artery stenting. During carotid artery stenting, your surgeon will remove the blockage in your carotid artery using a special catheter inserted into your artery through a small incision in your groin. Your surgeon will guide the catheter to the site of the blockage and inflate a tiny balloon to clear the blockage away. After the blockage is removed, your surgeon will insert a tiny expandable coil called a stent to hold your carotid artery open.

What is carotid artery disease?

Carotid artery disease occurs when your carotid arteries become narrowed or blocked due to a buildup of fatty material called plaque inside your artery. Your carotid arteries are located on either side of your neck and supply blood to your brain. Blocked or narrowed carotid arteries increase your risk of having a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), which are caused by lack of blood flow to your brain.

What are the symptoms of carotid artery disease?

Carotid artery disease doesn't usually cause symptoms in its early stages. Many people don't realize they have carotid artery disease until the blood flow to their brain is blocked and they experience a stroke or TIA. Symptoms of a stroke or TIA usually occur suddenly and may include:

  • Numbness or weakness in your face or limbs that may affect only one side of your body
  • Trouble speaking or understanding
  • Vision problems in one or both eyes
  • Problems with balance or coordination
  • Dizziness
  • A severe headache

Who is at risk for carotid artery disease?

You cannot control some risk factors for carotid artery disease, such as age and family history. However, untreated chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity may put you at higher risk of developing carotid artery disease. Lifestyle factors, such as smoking and lack of exercise, may also increase your risk.

How can I prevent carotid artery disease?

Preventing heart disease and chronic conditions can reduce the risk that you will develop carotid artery disease. Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight are a great start. You also should control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, avoid smoking, and limit alcoholic beverages.

Providers

Need more information?

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute: 717-731-0101 or 717-231-8555

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Locations

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Lebanon Valley Advanced Care Center
1251 East Main Street
Suite 3
Annville, PA 17003

Adult Cardiology: 717-731-0101
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
360 Alexander Spring Road
Carlisle, PA 17013

Adult Cardiology: 717-243-6557
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-243-0102

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
1000 North Front Street
Wormleysburg, PA 17043

Adult Cardiology: 717-731-0101
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-731-8359

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Medical Office Building 2
2005 Technology Parkway
Suite 300
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Main Number: 717-988-5864
Fax: 717-231-8568

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
900 Century Drive
Suite 100
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Phone: 717-591-3660 or 800-248-0257
Fax: 717-591-3661

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Medical Professional Center of Newport
300 Bretz Court
Newport, PA 17074

Phone: 717-567-7246 or 800-248-0257
Fax: 717-567-2621

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Brady Building
205 South Front Street
4th floor
Harrisburg, PA 17104

Phone: 717-231-8555
Fax: 717-231-8568

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
2808 Old Post Road
Harrisburg, PA 17110

Adult Cardiology: 717-920-4400
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-920-4401

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
12 Saint Paul Drive
Suite 205
Chambersburg, PA 17201

Adult Cardiology: 717-217-6881
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-217-6889

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Commerce Park Professional Center
20 Expedition Trail
Suite 203
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Phone: 717-637-1738
Fax: 717-646-7430

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at UPMC Outpatient Center
2201 Brunswick Drive
2200
Hanover, PA 17331

Phone: 717-637-1738
Fax: 717-646-7430

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Medical Office Building
310 Stock Street
Suite 3
Hanover, PA 17331

Phone: 717-637-1738
Fax: 717-646-7430

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
16324 Mount Airy Road
Lower Level
Shrewsbury, PA 17361

Phone: 717-849-5576
Fax: 717-718-9972

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
1600 6th Avenue
Suite 105
York, PA 17403

Phone: 717-849-5576
Fax: 717-718-9972

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