BACKGROUND We investigated the incidence of embolic protection device retrieval difficulties at carotid artery stenting (CAS) with a closed-cell stent and demonstrated the usefulness of a manual carotid compression assist technique. METHODS Between July 2010 and October 2013, we performed 156 CAS procedures using self-expandable closed-cell stents. All procedures were performed with the aid of a filter design embolic protection device. We used FilterWire EZ in 118 procedures and SpiderFX in 38 procedures. The embolic protection device was usually retrieved by the accessory retrieval sheath after CAS. We applied a manual carotid compression technique when it was difficult to navigate the retrieval sheath through the deployed stent. We compared clinical outcomes in patients where simple retrieval was possible with patients where the manual carotid compression assisted technique was used for retrieval. RESULTS Among the 156 CAS procedures, we encountered 12 (7.7%) where embolic protection device retrieval was hampered at the proximal stent terminus. Our manual carotid compression technique overcame this difficulty without eliciting neurologic events, artery dissection, or stent deformity. CONCLUSIONS In patients undergoing closed-cell stent placement, embolic protection device retrieval difficulties may be encountered at the proximal stent terminus. Manual carotid compression assisted retrieval is an easy, readily available solution to overcome these difficulties.