The 30-day mortality as well as morbidity for stroke and myocardial infarction were determined by review of the charts for every carotid endarterectomy (N = 389 operations on 356 patients) performed at Wake Forest University Medical Center from 1979 through 1983 to ascertain whether the 16% morbidity and 6% mortality documented in our previous report of 1978 had changed over time. For endarterectomies performed on asymptomatic patients (n = 155), major morbidity included 2 myocardial infarctions and 1 stroke (1.9%). There were 3 fatalities - 2 myocardial infarctions and 1 stroke (1.9%). For the symptomatic group (n = 234), major morbidity was 2.1%, mortality 2.6%. The combined morbidity for asymptomatic and symptomatic carotid stenosis was 2%, mortality 2.3%. Perioperative stroke rate (morbidity plus mortality) was 2.6%, 9 ipsilateral to the carotid endarterectomy, suggesting distal embolism as its probable cause. We contend that quality control measures implemented to correct the unacceptable rates reported in 1978 have contributed to dramatic and sustained reductions in complication rates. © 1987 American Heart Association, Inc.