A carotid endarterectomy may be needed if one or both of your carotid arteries become narrowed because of a build-up of fatty deposits (plaque).
Please note, patients with current symptoms should be referred urgently to the TIA service. GP Gateway has a separate page on Stroke and TIA.
For the patients with no recent symptoms (70%) – medical treatment with clopidogrel and a statin may be better than invasive surgical treatment
Please note that there is an absence of evidence from randomised trials that patients older than 75 benefit from surgery, if they have asymptomatic lesions.
Halliday A, Mansfield A, Marro J, Peto C, Peto R, Potter J, Thomas D. Prevention of disabling and fatal strokes by successful carotid endarterectomy in patients without recent neurological symptoms: randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2004;363:1491-1502