Innominate Artery Disease

Make an Appointment

Blurred vision, dizziness, and pain in your upper arm are all cause for serious concern. You may be wondering if you're headed for a heart attack. Innominate artery disease could be the cause of your symptoms.

Innominate artery disease is caused by a buildup of plaque inside the walls of the artery. The innominate artery brings blood to your right arm, head, and neck. It's the first branch from the aortic arch that carries blood away from the heart. A blockage slowing blood flow in this artery can put your life at risk. You need quick, effective treatment. If not treated, it can lead to a stroke.

At UVA, you’ll find options for treating this blockage from top experts.

Treating Innominate Artery Blockage

Surgery can clear a blockage in the innominate artery. Your doctor will work with you to choose the right surgical option. Options include:

  • Angioplasty and stenting
  • Bypass grafting
  • Endarterectomy

Angioplasty and Stenting

An angioplasty puts a balloon inside your affected artery. The balloon inflates and opens the artery walls.

A stent is a kind of mesh tunnel that helps to keep the artery open.

Bypass Grafting

A bypass graft takes a piece of a blood vessel from another part of your body to create a new path for blood to flow. The bypass connects the aorta to the carotid arteries or to the innominate artery.


During an endarterectomy, plaque that’s blocking the aorta is removed. Endarterectomies are not common.

Diagnosing Innominate Artery Disease

At UVA, we can diagnose you by:

  • Doppler and ultrasound imaging
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Angiography