Roland Brousseau, Carotid Artery Disease

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Roland Brousseau describes himself as an ordinary senior citizen.

The 77-year-old Winooski resident likes to fix things around the house, play with his Boston terrier, Brandon, and spend time with his family.  "I really enjoy life," he said.

But in the spring of 2010, it became difficult to do the things he enjoyed. "I was sluggish, it just wasn’t me," Roland said.

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Roland went to see his primary care doctor and was eventually referred to Andrew Stanley, M.D., Fletcher Allen vascular surgeon and associate professor of surgery at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.  

Dr. Stanley did an ultrasound of Roland’s neck and found that his left carotid artery -- a major blood vessel supplying blood to the brain and head -- was 95 percent blocked.

Roland had carotid artery disease -- a condition where fatty deposits or plaque buildup blocks the flow of blood in the artery. If the condition isn’t treated, it can cause a stroke.

In July of 2010, Dr. Stanley operated on Roland, performing a carotid endarterectomy to open the blocked artery and remove the plaque. The procedure is a common surgical treatment for carotid artery disease. 

Roland praised the nurses, doctors and everyone who took care of him. Of Dr. Stanley he said: "He’s got miracle hands."

Roland returned for a follow-up visit a few weeks later.  "They gave me the 100 percent OK," he said.

Today, he’s ready to enjoy life to the fullest.  "I’m able to do everything I want to do," he said. "I’m so deeply grateful."