A carotid endarterectomy (say "kuh-RAW-tid en-dar-tuh-REK-tuh-mee") is surgery to remove fatty build-up (plaque) from one of the carotid arteries. There are two carotid arteries—one on each side of the neck—that supply blood to the brain. When plaque builds up in either artery, it can make it hard for blood to flow to the brain. This surgery may lower your risk of having a stroke.
You may have a sore throat for a few days. You can expect the cut (incision) in your neck to be sore for about a week. The area around the incision may also be swollen and bruised at first. The area in front of the incision may be numb. This usually gets better after 6 to 12 months.
Your doctor closed the incision in your neck with stitches. The stitches will be removed 7 to 10 days after surgery, or you may have stitches that dissolve on their own.
You may feel more tired than usual for several weeks after surgery. You will probably be able to go back to work or your usual activities in 1 to 2 weeks.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: December 6, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
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