WHAT IS TCAR?
Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) is a hybrid procedure that was developed to treat patients with carotid artery disease who are at risk for open surgery. Traditional treatment options include Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA) and Transfemoral Carotid Artery Stenting. While these treatment options have been shown to effectively treat the blockage, both options have limitations, and they carry a risk of stroke during the procedures themselves.
During the TCAR procedure, a tube inserted into the carotid artery is connected to a system that temporarily directs blood flow away from the brain to protect against dangerous debris from reaching the brain and causing a stroke during the procedure. Surgeons filter the blood before returning it to a vein in the groin. A stent is implanted in the carotid artery to stabilize plaque and to help prevent future strokes.
Less-Invasive: TCAR vs. Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA) Scars
The entire TCAR procedure is performed through a smaller incision in the neck and in less than half the time of a carotid endarterectomy, limiting the stress on the heart and significantly cutting the risk of the patient having a stroke or heart attack during the procedure.
Patients who undergo the TCAR procedure recover quickly. They almost always go home the next day to return to full, productive lives with less pain and smaller scars than traditional treatments, as well as a reduced risk of future strokes.
More than 25,000 procedures have been performed worldwide through clinical trial and commercial use. TCAR has been studied extensively, and the clinical data results have been excellent.
Carotid Artery Disease
Carotid artery disease is a form of atherosclerosis, or a buildup of plaque in one or both of the main arteries in the neck. When plaque builds up in the carotid arteries, they begin to narrow and slow down blood flow, potentially causing a stroke if blood flow stops or if plaque fragments travel to the brain.
Risk Factors for Carotid Artery Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Tobacco Use
- Lack of Exercise
- Family History
Dr. Jimmy Smith
“I’ve been doing carotid stenting a long time from a traditional femoral approach and a few years ago this TCAR procedure became available and it was clear that the stroke rate was lower.”
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