Professor Ramon Varcoe

Carotid Stenting and Endarterectomy

We each have left and right side carotid arteries in the neck which divide into two vessels that supply the majority of blood to our brain. At the point of carotid bifurcation it is not uncommon to develop hardening of the arteries, plaque formation and narrowing.

A narrowed artery forces blood through at high velocity causing turbulent flow that may result in the dislodgement of debris and cause a stroke. A minor, reversible stroke may bring this condition to the attention of your doctor and allow treatment with medications such as aspirin, clopidogrel and statins. A number of people have such a narrowing without symptoms and may be unaware of its existence. It is a dangerous condition as the first symptom may be a devastating stroke. Professor Varcoe will examine your risk factors, optimize your medication therapy and advise you on whether surgery may be required to widen the artery.

Usually this decision will be made after an ultrasound and CT scan. If widening of the artery is required it may require surgery to carefully clean out the diseased vessel (endarterectomy) or stenting to dilate the inner channel. Professor Varcoe regularly performs both of these procedures and lectures on how each is best applied to individual patients. He is able to advise you on whether carotid stenting or endarterctomy is best for you based on a complex medical and anatomical risk profile analysis.

For more information about Carotid Endarterectomy and Stenting download a factsheet here.