Ischemic stroke is the most common form of stroke, and it usually is caused by plaque plugging an artery. As a person ages, plaque builds up in the arteries, causing them to narrow. The carotid arteries carry blood to the brain and are located on either side of the neck. Plaque buildup in the carotid arteries is a major risk factor for ischemic stroke. Carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing the plaque from the carotid artery.
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