Endarterectomy

Atherosclerosis is hardening of a blood vessel from a buildup of plaque. Plaque is made of fatty deposits, cholesterol, and calcium. It builds on the inside lining of arteries. This causes the artery to narrow and harden. As plaque builds up, it can slow and even stop blood flow. Endarterectomy is a surgery to remove this build-up and improve blood flow. Surgery is most often performed on: Bilateral Carotid Artery AtherosclerosisCopyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
    • Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medicines you were given after surgery, or which persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospital
    • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
    • Constipation
      or
      diarrhea
    • Inability to urinate
    • Lightheadedness
    • Severe headaches
    • Problems with speech or vision
    • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    Atherosclerosis
    is hardening of a blood vessel from a buildup of plaque. Plaque is made of fatty deposits, cholesterol, and calcium. It builds on the inside lining of arteries. This causes the artery to narrow and harden. As plaque builds up, it can slow and even stop blood flow.

    Endarterectomy is a surgery to remove this build-up and improve blood flow. Surgery is most often performed on:

    • Carotid arteries in the neck that supply the brain—most common use of endarterectomy
    • The aorta—a major artery that runs from the heart to the abdomen
    • Iliac and femoral arteries of the legs
    • Renal arteries that supply the kidneys with blood

    Bilateral Carotid Artery Atherosclerosis
    Nucleus image
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure


    This surgery is done to remove the build-up of deposits and improve blood flow. After the surgery, the symptoms of reduced blood flow, such as
    stroke, digestive problems, and leg cramps should
    improve.

  • Possible Complications

    If you are planning to have endarterectomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • Bleeding
    • Stroke, particularly if the carotid arteries are involved
    • Blood clots
    • Adverse reaction to the anesthesia
    • Infection

    Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:

    • Smoking
    • Drinking
    • Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity

    Your risk of complications may also be increased if you have plaque build-up in other vessels.