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The Vascular Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, offers comprehensive care by a skilled group of vascular surgeons. Our doctors are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of circulatory system disorders including carotid artery disease, a condition that occurs when the carotid arteries become blocked with plaque.
The carotid arteries are located on both sides of your neck and provide nutrient-rich blood to the large, front part of your brain. Those arteries can become blocked with plaque (fatty substances and cholesterol deposits), leading to carotid artery disease. People with carotid artery disease are at risk for mini-stroke or stroke because the blood flow to the brain has been limited. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the country.
Often there are no symptoms of carotid artery disease. The artery-narrowing plaque builds over time and often without any warning signs until you have a mini-stroke or stroke. Risk factors include:
Stroke symptoms include:
Your primary care physician may listen for blood flow in your carotid arteries. If, however, you’ve had any of the above symptoms, your doctor may also do a diagnostic procedure including:
Reduced blood flow in the carotid arteries requires treatment, depending on the severity of the artery damage or blockage. Treatments include lifestyle changes (for mild cases), medications and sometimes surgery or stenting (for severe disease and to prevent stroke). The goal for any treatment option is to prevent a stroke.
Lifestyle changes as treatment options would include:
Drug medication is also a treatment option for beginning stages of carotid artery disease. It may include:
For more severe artery damage or blockage, surgery or stenting may be required to open the artery to increase blood flow.
The Vascular Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, diagnoses and treats a broad range of circulatory system disorders including stroke and mini stroke, leg pain and swelling, blood clots, aneurysms, varicose veins and circulatory disease. Drs. Paul Lucas, Kurtis Kim and Alain Tanbe provide comprehensive care using advanced treatments including balloon angioplasty, stent-graft repair, endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair, aortic aneurysm and dissection, varicose vein removal, bypass surgery, neck artery repair and minimally invasive catheter procedures.
A 2020 TOP DOC
Dr. Paul Lucas, Director of The Vascular Center at Mercy, leads a clinical team providing diagnosis and treatment for circulatory problems, including aneurysm, stroke, swelling of the leg and blockages.
Cheryl wears compression socks while working to help with venous insufficiency, a buildup of pressure in her legs.