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Carotid Artery Disease

General Information

The carotid arteries are blood vessels that run along both sides of your neck and provide your brain with oxygenated blood. Carotid artery disease is when these vessels narrow due to cholesterol-based plaque buildup. This can cause serious health problems, such as stroke and brain tissue deterioration.

Our fellowship trained team of cardiologists, surgeons and radiologists at Goshen Heart & Vascular Center collaborates to serve our community with integrated, advanced care.

Identifying your risk of a cardiovascular condition early can help prevent a more serious problem. Talk to your primary care provider about a heart screening. Or, if you want to talk to someone at the Heart & Vascular Center, call (574) 533-7476 to make an appointment.

What causes carotid artery disease?

Fatty buildup along artery walls causes carotid artery disease. It can take decades for this plaque to grow. Risk factors for carotid artery disease are the same as for heart disease:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Persistently high blood sugar levels
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise or a sedentary lifestyle
  • Aging

Expertly diagnosing and treating signs of carotid artery disease

You may not notice carotid artery disease symptoms until the disease is advanced. A transient ischemic attack (TIA or ministroke) or stroke may be the first sign. However, your doctor may spot carotid artery disease through a stethoscope during a routine exam. A vascular ultrasound can confirm carotid stenosis (narrowing).

If you are diagnosed with carotid artery disease, our experts recommend living a heart-healthy lifestyle to reduce plaque buildup. You may also need medication to reduce heart-related conditions, such as high cholesterol, and surgery to clear the arteries of plaque or insert stents to keep the arteries open.

The team at Goshen Heart & Vascular Center is your partner in heart health, offering Rehabilitation Therapy, a smoking cessation program and innovative care. Helping patients live healthier lives is our priority.

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