Carotid Artery Evaluation & Treatment

Washington Vascular Specialists

Interventional Cardiology & Vascular Surgery located in Takoma Park, MD, Frederick, MD, & Largo, MD

When you’ve had a stroke or are planning an upcoming cardiac surgery, understand your risk for complications by getting a carotid artery evaluation from Mubashar Choudry, MD. Dr. Choudry provides expert interventional cardiology care and vascular surgery at Washington Vascular Specialists, with locations in Takoma Park, Largo, and Frederick, Maryland. With more than two decades of experience in practice, Dr. Choudry provides detailed and compassionate care throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Call or click to schedule a consultation online today.

Carotid Artery Evaluation & Treatment Q & A

What is carotid artery evaluation?

Carotid artery evaluation is a series of tests to determine if stenosis, or narrowing of your carotid artery, is present. Atherosclerosis, a build-up of fatty plaque along the walls of the artery that causes a narrowing of the carotid artery.

Carotid artery evaluation includes an analysis of your medical history, lifestyle, and symptoms. Dr. Choudry then performs a physical exam, including listening to your heart and carotid artery with his stethoscope and by checking your pulse and blood pressure.

If indicated, further evaluation includes carotid duplex ultrasound, cerebral angiography, an MRI, and a CT scan. Dr. Choudry orders these tests to visualize your carotid arteries and determine if there’s any narrowing or bulging caused by atherosclerosis.

Why is carotid artery evaluation important?

Evaluation is recommended if you’re undergoing cardiac surgery and have one or more of these other risk factors:

  • Prior stroke or transient ischemic attacks
  • Left main coronary disease
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes mellitus (Type 2)

Any of these risk factors, and being over age 65 or smoking tobacco, increase your predisposition to a cardiovascular accident, such as a stroke, heart attack, and heart failure, during surgery. Dr. Choudry provides carotid artery evaluation prior to cardiac surgery to avoid these potentially life-threatening conditions and determine if you’re a good candidate for surgery.

What is carotid artery treatment?

Depending on the severity of stenosis in the carotid artery, you may need to postpone your cardiac surgery if it’s too risky. When any other chronic health issues, like high cholesterol or obesity, are present, Dr. Choudry manages your care to decrease your risk.

Conservative treatment includes quitting smoking tobacco, losing weight, and lowering your cholesterol through diet and exercise. If conservative treatment isn’t enough, medications to lower your cholesterol or blood pressure may help.

Careful monitoring of your condition with visits to Dr. Choudry helps to avoid problems related to carotid stenosis, like dizziness, fainting, severe headaches, and stroke. In severe cases, he may recommend surgical removal of arterial plaque or placement of a stent in the artery to keep it open. Treatment may lower your risks enough to allow you to continue with your cardiac surgery.

If you’ve had a stroke or need cardiac surgery, get a carotid artery evaluation with Dr. Choudry. Call or click to schedule your visit now.