Baptist Health Madisonville has performed its 50th Transcarotid Artery Revascularization procedure. TCAR is a clinically proven, minimally invasive procedure to treat carotid artery disease and help prevent future strokes.
Baptist Health Madisonville began a carotid stent program in 2015 and advanced to the TCAR procedure in late 2018. Currently the team is on track to perform over 50 TCAR cases in 2021.
“Offering this newer, minimally invasive treatment option for our patients with carotid artery blockage is advancing patient care here in Madisonville by dramatically reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack during and after carotid interventions,” said Dr. T. Mark Stanfield — cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon at Baptist.
TCAR is a patient-friendly endovascular procedure that utilizes a system that temporarily reverses blood flow away from the brain, collecting any potential debris in the device filter, before returning the blood to a vessel in the leg.
TCAR generally takes between 45 and 90 minutes, and patients typically go home the next day. The small incision means limited risk to cranial nerves and a faster, less painful recovery for the patient.
The new minimally invasive procedure uses a special transcarotid neuro-protection system and is designed to reduce the risk of stroke during the insertion of the stent.
The novel NPS device allows the surgeon to directly access the common carotid artery in the neck and initiate high-rate temporary blood flow reversal to protect the brain from stroke while delivering and implanting the stent.
The TCAR procedure is performed through a small incision at the neckline just above the clavicle. The surgeon places a tube directly into the carotid artery and connects it to the NPS that directs blood flow away from the brain, to protect against plaque that may come loose reaching the brain.
The patient’s blood flows through the NPS and any material is captured in a filter outside the body. The filtered blood is then returned through a second tube in the patient’s upper leg. After the stent is placed successfully, flow reversal is turned off and blood flow resumes in its normal direction.
“In contrast to conventional surgery, TCAR requires a smaller incision resulting in decreased risk for nerve damage and a faster recovery time. With its flow-reversal system, TCAR also has been shown to have fewer stroke complications compared to carotid stenting performed through the groin,” said Stanfield.
TCAR is a safe and effective way for patients with buildup in the carotid artery to be treated in a minimally invasive way, according to Baptist.
Your vascular surgeon may recommend a TCAR procedure if you have been diagnosed with carotid artery disease that requires intervention, and your age, anatomy or other medical conditions place you at a high risk for open surgery (carotid endarterectomy).