Carotid Artery Stenting (CAS) | Surgery | MedStar Health

Using a small mesh tube to prop open a narrowed artery

Carotid artery stenting (CAS) is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to treat carotid artery disease, which occurs when fatty deposits known as plaque cause the two large blood arteries in your neck to narrow or become blocked.

Carotid artery stenting often follows an angioplasty, in which the doctor temporarily inserts and inflates a tiny balloon in the artery to first unblock it. They then place a small mesh tube called a stent to permanently support and keep the artery open.

The surgeons in our Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Program provide leading expertise in treating carotid disease. Your doctor may recommend carotid stenting if you've had a stroke or to reduce the risk of a stroke when carotid endarterectomy is not possible or is too risky.

What to expect during carotid artery stenting?

You will be asked to not eat or drink before the procedure. An IV will be inserted in your arm or hand to provide sedation to relax you. A small amount of hair may be shaved in your groin area where the incision will be made, and you will be given a local anesthetic injection to numb the area. 

The surgeon will make a small puncture in the femoral artery in the groin area and insert a long, flexible tube called a catheter that carries the stent. The catheter will be guided to the carotid artery in your neck. After the angioplasty widens the artery, the stent will be placed to keep it open. This procedure is sometimes also performed from the neck. 

The procedure should take one to two hours and you will be taken to a recovery area to be monitored for several hours. Most patients can go home within 24 hours of the procedure. 


Carotid Aneurysms

An extracranial carotid artery aneurysm is a bulge that weakens the walls of the main artery in your neck and may create blood clots that can result in a stroke. 

Carotid Artery Disease 

Carotid artery disease, also known as carotid artery stenosis, occurs when fatty deposits known as plaque cause the carotid arteries to narrow or become blocked. 

Cervical (Carotid or Vertebral) Artery Dissection 

Cervical artery dissection is a condition in which there is a tear in the wall of one of the four main arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain.


Carotid Duplex Ultrasound 

Carotid duplex ultrasound uses Doppler and traditional ultrasound to assess blood flow in the arteries that supply blood to your brain.

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan 

The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) 

Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as cardiac MRI, is a combination of radio waves, magnets, and computer technology to create images of your heart and blood vessels.

Our locations

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MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

7503 Surratts Rd.
Clinton, MD 20735

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

201 E. University Pkwy.
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar St Mary's Hospital

25500 Point Lookout Rd.
Leonardtown, MD 20650

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

110 Irving St. NW
Washington, DC 20010

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

3800 Reservoir Rd. NW
Washington, DC, 20007

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center

18101 Prince Philip Dr.
Olney, MD 20832

Additional information

Vascular and Endovascular Program

Partner with a recognized leader in offering care ranging from straightforward vascular disease to the most complex vascular disorders.

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