If you have carotid artery disease—a blockage in the arteries of the neck that supply blood to the brain—your treatment may include transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR).
Our expert surgical team offers TCAR, a minimally invasive technique that is especially useful for patients whose risk with traditional surgery is considered high due to advanced age, anatomic issues and other conditions.
What is transcarotid artery revascularization?
Transcarotid artery revascularization, or TCAR, is a minimally invasive procedure that repairs a blocked or damaged carotid artery. In this procedure, your surgeon places a small tube, called a stent, inside a blocked artery. During the procedure, blood flow in the artery is temporarily reversed. Any dangerous bits of plaque and blood clots are diverted away and not able to travel to the brain and cause a stroke.
What to expect
To perform a TCAR procedure, a vascular surgeon makes a small incision at the base of the neck, just above the collarbone. A puncture is made into the carotid artery. A small tube (stent) is placed inside the artery. The stent gets connected to a system that temporarily directs blood flow away from the brain. The blood is filtered and returned to a vein through a second tube placed in the upper thigh. While the brain is protected during this temporary reversal of blood flow, a tube or stent is placed in the carotid artery to stabilize the plaque and prevent a future stroke. The blood flow is then returned to normal, and the system is removed.
During a TCAR procedure, you will receive either general anesthesia to put you to sleep or local anesthesia to numb the area of the body where the surgeon will work.
Recovery after a TCAR procedure
You typically stay in the hospital overnight for observation. If there are no complications, you can go home the next day.