There are two prominent types of surgery for stroke prevention and treatment: carotid endarterectomy and extracranial/intracranial (EC/IC) bypass.
Carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure in which a doctor removes fatty deposits (plaque) from the inside of one of the carotid arteries, which are located in the neck and are the main suppliers of blood to the brain. A newer surgical procedure for carotid stenosis, called stenting, involves inserting a long, thin catheter tube into an artery in the leg and threading the catheter through the vascular system into the narrow stenosis of the carotid artery in the neck. Once the catheter is in place in the carotid artery, the radiologist expands the stent with a balloon on the tip of the catheter.
Extracranial-to-intracranial (EC/IC) bypass surgery is generally not recommended for patients with transient ischemic attacks. However, research is ongoing to determine whether there may be a subgroup of patients who might benefit from this treatment.