TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) is a less invasive option than traditional surgery for patients who have carotid artery disease or more simply a blocked artery in the neck. Carotid artery disease is estimated to be the source of stroke in up to a third of cases and there are 400,000 new diagnoses of carotid artery disease made every year in the United States alone.
TCAR It is used to prevent stokes in patients who are high risk for having a stroke and for patients who have already had a stroke or transient ischemic attack to decrease their risk of having another one. Some of signs and symptoms of a stroke that a patient may experience include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
TCAR consists of maximal medical therapy with specific medications and a procedure performed through a small incision at the base of the neck that takes less than an hour to perform. It is a patient-friendly, endovascular technique that temporarily reverses blood flow in the affected artery away from the brain to reduce the risk of stroke during the procedure. Potential debris in the blood is collected through a device filter before the blood is returned through a vessel in the leg.
TCAR is well-suited for patients who are at higher risk of surgical complications, due to age, medical co-morbidities, or anatomical issues. Patients typically stay in the hospital overnight and are discharged home the following day. They are often back to work and normal activities within the week.