Carotid endarterectomy is a procedure to treat carotid artery disease. This disease occurs when fatty, waxy deposits build up in one of the carotid arteries. The carotid arteries are blood vessels located on each side of your neck (carotid arteries). This buildup of plaque (atherosclerosis) may restrict blood flow to your brain. Removing plaque causing the narrowing in the artery can improve blood flow in your carotid artery and reduce your risk of stroke.