TCAR | A New, Less-invasive Procedure For Patients At Risk Of A Stroke

Recently at The Surgical Clinic, we began offering a new procedure for our patients who showed signs of a stroke. Many have experienced the benefits of this less invasive carotid artery treatment. This breakthrough is known as the TCAR procedure.

TCAR stands for Trans Carotid Artery Revascularization. Keep reading to learn more about this safe and effective operation.

Each year, more than 300,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with some kind of blockage in their carotid arteries. Your carotid arteries are the major blood vessels that deliver blood to your brain. If left untreated, blood flow to the brain reduces or even stops, which can lead to a dangerous stroke.

The Surgical Clinic is pioneering the use of a breakthrough technology called Trans-Carotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) to treat patients with carotid artery disease who are at risk for open surgery. This modern, minimally invasive surgery was designed to remove the risk of stroke or brain damage during the procedure.

Current treatment options come with limitations. For example, traditional treatment involves open surgery, or the use of carotid stents to clear the artery. A new technique called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) combines direct carotid artery access with robust blood flow reversal.

The blood flow reversal happens during ENROUTE Transcarotid Stent placement. When the stent is placed, plaque along the vein walls may become loose. Because the blood flow is diverted away from the brain, the debris will not pose a risk to the patient. These improvements allow for the neuroprotection of other procedures in a less invasive and more patient-friendly way.

TCAR Procedure

The TCAR procedure is performed through a small incision at the neckline where there is direct access to the carotid artery. This incision is much smaller in comparison to a typical Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA) incision.

Once the incision has been made, a flexible sheath is placed directly into the carotid artery. The sheath is then connected to a system that will reverse the flow of blood away from the brain. 

This is important because the reversed blood flow protects the patient’s brain from plaque that may come loose during the procedure. In contrast, if the blood flowed normally, that debris in the blood could cause a stroke 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 CEA–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 typically recover quickly and in most cases may return to their daily routines the following day.

For more information about the TCAR procedure or to see if you may be a candidate, please contact one of our Vascular Surgeons at The Surgical Clinic. We have convenient locations throughout Middle Tennessee.