TCAR is a less-invasive approach to avoiding strokes

olderhispcoupleAlthough carotid artery disease is often initially asymptomatic, it is a dangerous condition that occurs when the major blood vessels in your neck become narrowed. Carotid artery disease puts individuals at a higher risk of a stroke. Strokes can be lethal and dangerous, it is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. 

Fortunately, a new treatment is offered at Texoma Medical Center to treat carotid artery disease and prevent stroke. Cardiovascular Surgeon R.J. Wilcott, MD, FACS, explains everything you need to know about the TCAR procedure.

Q: What causes a stroke?

Carotid artery disease is estimated to be the source of stroke in up to one-third of cases. Carotid artery disease is caused by a build-up of plaque in the two main arteries of the neck. When plaque builds up in the carotid arteries, they begin to narrow and slow down blood flow, potentially causing a stroke if blood flow stops or plaque fragments travel to the brain.

Q: What is the TCAR procedure?

TCAR stands for Transcarotid Artery Revascularization, and it is a less-invasive way to prevent stroke and treat carotid artery disease. During the TCAR procedure, patients are protected from stroke as blood flow on the side of the neck being treated is temporarily directed away from the brain and into a filter. This helps prevent any dangerous, fatty material from going to your brain and causing a stroke. A flexible metal tube is placed in the carotid artery to help prevent strokes and increase blood flow to the brain.

Need help finding a doctor?

If you need a referral to a cardiovascular surgeon, cardiac specialist or other physician at Texoma Medical Center, call our free physician referral service at 903-416-3627 or search for a physician online.

Q: What are the benefits of the TCAR procedure?

Compared to the traditional open Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA) option, it has the same low stroke rate, but its minimally invasive approach reduces procedure and recovery time.

Q: Who is an ideal candidate for TCAR?

Your doctor can determine if TCAR is right for you with anatomical and medical history. TCAR is offered to those at higher risk of complications from surgery due to age, have the appropriate anatomy and have carotid artery stenosis.

Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if minimally invasive surgery is right for you.