Carotid artery stenting is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a tiny metal mesh tube to widen arteries that have narrowed due to plaque buildup. It is similar to stenting done to treat heart disease. During the procedure, a specially trained physician inserts a stent into the carotid artery after performing angioplasty. Angioplasty uses a balloon inflated in the narrowed part of the artery to flatten the plaque. The stent holds the plaque back and keeps the artery open.
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. The placement of a carotid stent may help correct this problem.
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