Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid Stenosis and Carotid Occlusion

Duke's heart and vascular specialists treat carotid artery disease at every stage. We may recommend lifestyle modifications and medications to reduce the buildup of plaque in your carotid arteries, as well as minimally invasive procedures or surgery to restore blood flow. Carotid artery disease is the buildup of plaque along the inner wall of the arteries that causes narrowing and restricts blood flow. It is also known as carotid artery stenosis or carotid artery occlusion. We help decrease your risk for the serious complications that can occur as a result of this disease.

Early Diagnosis, Active Management Lowers Your Stroke Risk

If you have a family history of carotid artery disease, like carotid artery stenosis or carotid artery occlusion, or your doctor indicates it may be present, immediate care and aggressive management are essential. Carotid artery disease often presents without any symptoms, and the first signs can be a mild or severe stroke. Our skilled team of cardiologists, vascular surgeons and neurologists work with you to carefully evaluate your personal risk factors early on, so they can actively monitor your condition and determine the best course of action. We help you manage your carotid artery stenosis or carotid artery occlusion through lifestyle changes, medication, and procedures when needed. Our goal is to help you lower your risk for stroke and remain healthy.

Choose Duke for the treatment of your carotid artery disease because we offer:

  • Top-ranked care. U.S. News and World Report ranks Duke Heart Center among the best in the nation, based on our patients’ survival rates, the number of procedures we perform and the quality of our support services.
  • Advanced tools for early, accurate diagnosis. We use the latest risk assessment methods and imaging technology to identify and evaluate your carotid artery disease at the earliest possible stage.
  • Nationally recognized surgical expertise. Our surgeons perform hundreds of procedures to open blocked carotid arteries each year. As invited participants in one of the National Institutes of Health’s largest studies of minimally invasive and surgical approaches to carotid artery disease, our surgical team underwent additional rigorous training and credentialing. We maintain a level of surgical expertise in treating carotid artery disease that you won’t find at many centers across the state.
  • Minimally invasive treatment options. If you are symptomatic or at high risk for the complications that may be associated with surgery, we offer a minimally invasive option that is also safe and effective.
  • Coordinated stroke prevention and care. Because carotid artery disease is a leading risk factor for stroke, you have access to our nationally recognized team of vascular surgeons, neurologists, and interventional cardiologists. They work with you to prevent and treat stroke if it occurs.
  • Personalized risk factor management program. Lifestyle changes can be key to managing carotid artery disease, including carotid artery stenosis and carotid artery occlusion. We offer one-on-one, personalized exercise and nutrition counseling and high blood pressure control through our cardiac prevention and rehabilitation program.



We use a variety of advanced screening technologies to capture highly detailed images of the arteries to determine if they are narrowed or blocked by plaque build-up.

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