Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR)
Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) is a minimally invasive procedure to treat carotid artery disease and help prevent future strokes. It allows the surgeon to directly access the common carotid artery in the neck and initiate temporary reversal of blood flow to protect the brain from stroke while delivering and inserting the stent.
What to Expect During the Procedure
The TCAR procedure is performed through a smaller incision than a typical carotid artery stenting incision at the neckline just above the clavicle. TCAR is considered a safer method overall as a result, allowing in a decreased risk for nerve damage and a potentially easier recovery.
The surgeon places a tube directly into the carotid artery and connects it to a second tube in the patient’s upper leg containing a filtering device that directs blood flow away from the brain, to protect against plaque that may come loose and reaching the brain which could cause a stroke. After the stent is placed successfully, blood flow reversal is turned off and blood flow resumes in its normal direction. The procedure takes between 45 to 90 minutes to complete so it is less time consuming than other options.
What to Expect After Treatment
Patients who undergo the TCAR procedure recover quickly, typically spending just one night in the hospital. and almost always go home the next day. Most patients can return to normal activity within a few weeks. It is important to know that it is normal for you to experience some soreness in your neck for a couple of weeks.