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Carotid Artery, Carotid Stenosis, Carotid Endarterectomy Print E-mail

Dr. Kennedy The carotid artery is located in the front of the neck though which blood from the heart goes to the brain. There are 2 carotid arteries, the right and left common carotid arteries, on each side of the neck. Together, the right and left common carotid arteries (along with the vertebral arteries) provide the principal blood supply to the head and neck. The left common carotid arises directly from the aorta (the huge artery that comes from the heart). The right common carotid artery arises from the brachiocephalic artery which, in turn, comes off the aorta. Each of the two common carotid arteries divides to form external and internal carotid arteries. The external carotids are more superficial than the internal carotids which run deep within the neck. The carotid body is a small bit of tissue rich in capillaries, at the spot where the carotid artery branches in the neck, containing cells that sense the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in blood and from which messages are dispatched to the medulla (in the brain) to regulate the heart rate. Carotid stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the carotid artery, often a preamble to a stroke. A procedure called carotid endarterectomy is designed to clean out material occluding the carotid artery to restore normal blood flow to the brain and prevent a stroke.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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