Free floating thrombus in the carotid artery is a well-known phenomenon, though relatively rare. We present a case in which we performed open surgery and achieved successful retrieval of the thrombus. A 40 year-old male patient presented with ischemic stroke and mild left hemiparesis. Computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging showed infarction in the right parieto-occipital area. Carotid Doppler study showed carotid stenosis on the right side. Further investigation with CT angiography of the neck vessels confirmed significant carotid artery occlusion with a free-floating thrombus in the internal carotid artery. Carotid endarterectomy was planned under EEG monitoring. The right carotid artery was exposed with a vertical incision along the medial margin of the sternocleido-mastoid muscle. The carotid artery was opened and, as expected, showed a soft, mobile thrombus. Thus thrombectomy was planned. A 2 Fr fogarty catheter was introduced distal to the thrombus, the balloon was inflated and pulled back gently, which removed the thrombus completely. There was no postoperative complication and the patient is fine at 1 year follow-up.