Treatment for Carotid Artery Disease

Valley Hospital Medical Center is pioneering the use of a breakthrough technology called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) to treat patients with carotid artery disease who are at risk for open surgery. While any repair of the carotid artery carries some risk of causing a stroke because of the repair itself, TCAR was designed to help minimize that risk by keeping potential stroke causing fragments away from the brain.

If you need a referral to a physician at Valley Hospital, call our free physician referral service at 800-879-0980 or search for a physician online.

Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid artery disease occurs when the arteries in your neck that carry blood to your brain and head become narrow or blocked (carotid artery stenosis), normally due to a buildup of plaque (atherosclerosis). This can cause the blood flow to your brain to be blocked, possibly resulting in a stroke.

The TCAR Procedure

Like the open surgery (carotid endarterectomy or CEA), this new procedure involves direct access to the carotid artery, but through a much smaller incision at the neckline just above the clavicle instead of a longer incision on the neck. 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 during the procedure. Surgeons then filter the blood before returning it to a vein in the groin, and a stent is implanted directly into the carotid artery to stabilize the plaque and prevent future strokes. The entire procedure is performed in less than half the time of a CEA, which limits the stress on the heart and significantly cuts the risk of the patient having a stroke or heart attack during the procedure.

Patients who undergo the TCAR procedure typically recover quickly (normally spending just one night in the hospital) and often go home the next day to return to their lives with less pain, smaller scars and a reduced risk of future strokes.

Your physician may recommend the TCAR procedure if you’ve been diagnosed with carotid artery disease and you qualify for a less invasive intervention. This may depend on your age or other existing medical conditions.

Watch this video to see how the TCAR procedure is performed.

Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) is right for you.