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Safer Way to Unblock Arteries and Prevent Stroke

Sep 1, 2017
Every year, more than 300,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with blockages, or plaques, in their carotid artery. Arteries that are blocked due to plaque build-up puts people at high risk for a stroke if the plaque ruptures and flows to the brain. Many people with this condition may require carotid artery revascularization surgery to repair the blockage in the artery. 

To clear these blockages, vascular surgeons at St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital are using a new type of surgery called Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) procedure, which offers patients a potentially safer method of carotid stenting. The carotid arteries supply oxygenated blood to the brain. In the TCAR procedure, a stent is inserted into the common carotid artery through a small neck incision. Typical carotid stents are inserted with a long catheter inserted in a groin artery that must pass through the aorta to reach the carotid artery. Placing a stent through the groin can potentially cause a stroke. During TCAR, stroke risk is also reduced by temporarily reversing blood flow direction in the carotid artery, so that any debris dislodged by the procedure will not travel to the brain where it could cause stroke. Patients typically recover quickly and get back to normal activities in a matter of a few weeks.

For more information on the TCAR procedure or to find a physician who performs this surgery, call (866) 309-2873

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