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Heart Health

Clearing clogged arteries in the neck

March 25, 2020

clogged arteries

Balloon angioplasty appears to be just as good as surgery to unblock carotid arteries.

Date of last review, March 25, 2020Opening a blocked heart artery with a balloon and then propping it open with a wire-mesh stent is more commonly used than bypass surgery for restoring blood flow to the heart. Although coronary angioplasty plus stenting isn't quite as durable as bypass surgery, it is much easier on the body, since it doesn't require opening the chest.

The situation is similar in the carotid arteries, which convey oxygen-rich blood to the brain. In that territory, carotid angioplasty plus stenting (CAS) for many people has become preferred to endarterectomy, an operation to clean out a clogged carotid artery.

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