The cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons at Main Line Health work together to improve the detection and prevention of heart disease with the latest treatment options.
Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR)
What is Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR)?
Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) is a minimally invasive procedure designed to treat patients with carotid artery disease (carotid stenosis) and prevent future strokes.
TCAR is a clinically proven, safe approach to care for high-risk patients who need surgical care for carotid artery disease. A less-invasive alternative to traditional carotid endarterectomy surgery, TCAR temporarily reverses blood flow during the procedure to keep plaque from traveling to the brain and causing a stroke.
According to estimates, carotid artery disease accounts for up to one third of strokes. If left untreated, plaque buildup from carotid artery disease can slow blood flow or become dislodged to cause a potentially disabling stroke.
While effective, traditional surgical techniques to treat carotid artery disease come with possible risks, such as bleeding, infection, heart attack, stroke and nerve injury. Minimally invasive TCAR has a decreased risk of surgical complications to help patients recover quickly with less pain. TCAR is a good option for patients who are considered high risk for traditional surgery because of age or other medical conditions.
What to expect from a TCAR procedure
During the procedure, a small incision is made just above the collarbone. A small catheter is inserted into the carotid artery. The catheter, which is connected to an advanced filtering system, temporarily directs blood flow away from the brain and removes any dangerous debris that becomes loose. Once the procedure is completed, blood flow is returned to normal.
The procedure, which usually takes under an hour to complete, is performed under local anesthesia. Patients who undergo a TCAR procedure typically recover faster and go home the next day with less pain and smaller scars.