There are a number of innovative approaches to treat carotid artery disease, including carotid angioplasty and stenting. Although only recently recognized as alternative therapy for blockages in the neck arteries, the use and success rate of these procedures are increasing.
Carotid angioplasty and stenting involve inserting a catheter through a small incision in the groin and threading it into the carotid artery. A small wire is placed across the narrowed area under X-ray guidance. An angioplasty balloon may then be expanded to open the narrowed section and a stent (thin mesh tube) may be placed to keep the artery open. At Emory, carotid angioplasty and stenting are performed by well-recognized experts in the field primarily in patients who are unable to undergo surgery (endarterectomy).