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Endovascular surgery is a technique which is revolutionizing the field of vascular surgery. This procedure allows surgeons to make a few small incisions (usually in the patient's groin area). Instead of an open operation with an incision that can be 18-36" long in some cases, the surgeon uses x-rays to guide small catheters and devices through the blood vessels to open clogged arteries. In appropriate patients, these minimally invasive techniques are extremely advantageous, dramatically reducing hospital stay and recovery time.
Endovascular techniques have been used to successfully treat conditions such as renal artery stenosis (hardened renal artery), and more difficult conditions such as stroke (cerebral) and aortic aneurysms.
This narrowing of the carotid artery (often due to the buildup of plaque) can be treated through endovascular surgery utilizing balloon stent angioplasty of the narrowed vessel. This procedure does not require incision in the neck and can be performed through a catheter introduced through the groin artery. This procedure also involves a one day hospital stay. After either standard carotid endarterectomy or balloon stent angioplasty, patients are followed with serial duplex ultrasound studies to monitor the progress of their carotid arteries.