The carotid arteries are the main vessels in your neck that supply blood rich in oxygen from your heart to your brain. Current research evidence
 shows that carefully selected patients with "silent" or asymptomatic carotid artery disease (no symptoms) may benefit from surgery to reduce their long term risks of stroke. These are patients who are less than 75 years old with a carotid artery duplex scan showing a significant narrowing of their carotid artery (between 60% to 99%). Surgery for these patients can halve their risk of stroke from 11% to 5% at 5 years. Male smokers with a history of other existing vascular disease stand to benefit the most. The evidence for aggressive carotid surgery is weaker for female patients with asymptomatic carotid artery disease. There is no evidence to show that patients over 75 years old will benefit from carotid surgery if they have no symptoms. There is growing evidence that as non-surgical best medical treatment continues to develop, this may also be a good option for the treatment of asymptomatic carotid artery disease. The main advantage of having a carotid duplex scan to determine whether or not you have asymptomatic carotid artery disease is so that medical treatment can be started with aspirin, tablets to control lipids and tablets to control high blood pressure. The risks and benefits of carotid surgery will only be discussed with patients eligible for treatment based on current evidence. At present we only recommend carotid screening for male patients under the age of 75 years old and for other patients who may be at risk of stroke if they have a planned cardiac surgical procedure. Unlike AAA screening, as yet, there is no routine NHS carotid artery screening programme. The Surrey Vascular Clinic offers a private carotid duplex scan screening service.

The information contained in this website is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. The Surrey Vascular Clinic recommends consultation with your doctor or healthcare professional.
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