The carotid arteries transport oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Arteries can become damaged due to risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes mellitus, heredity (family history), and high cholesterol levels. The formation of fatty deposits, called plaque, can accumulate inside the arteries and can reduce or block the flow of blood. This process can lead to a stroke (sudden loss of brain function).
A carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure which involves the removal of plaque from these arteries through an incision in the neck. This surgery has been performed both nationally and at Baystate Health for over 40 years. In most cases, the patient is asleep under general anesthesia during the surgery. In some cases, the patient is awake, with local anesthesia to control discomfort. The procedure typically involves a quick recovery with little pain.
The Division of Vascular Surgery and the Division of Healthcare Quality (DHQ) work together to improve quality of life, patient satisfaction, processes of care, and clinical outcomes. The Carotid Artery Revascularization and Endarterectomy (CARE) Registry provides risk-adjusted information from participating institutions nationally by comparing observed versus expected complication and mortality rates. This information enables the staff at the Heart and Vascular Program to provide high-quality care to vascular patients at Baystate Health.
Baystate Medical Center
- There have been no deaths related to carotid endarterectomy at Baystate Medical Center in the past 2 years.
- Mortality reduction remains a focus area which continues to be highlighted through participation in the CARE Registry.
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