Transcartoid Artery Revascularization (TCAR)
Vascular Disease in the Carotid Arteries
Vascular disease is caused by the build-up of fatty substances that collect and stick to the linings of the arteries, in a process known as atherosclerosis. You may also hear the terms “plaque,” blockage, “lesion,” or “stenosis.” As the plaque build-up continues, the internal lining of your artery thickens which causes the artery to narrow and limit blood flow to vital tissues and organs. Some of the more commonly affected arteries are those located in the heart, legs, arms, neck, and kidneys. The symptoms from these blockages depend on what artery is affected and the severity of the blockage causing limited blood flow.
The Carotid Arteries
Diagnosis – you should be screened for carotid stenosis if you have:
- Weakness, numbness, tingling or paralysis of the arms, leg, or face on one side of the body
- Trouble swallowing
- Loss of eyesight or blurry eyesight in one eye
- Dizziness, confusion, fining, or coma
- Unexplained slurred or barbled speech.
Sometimes patients are screened for carotid artery stenosis if the doctor knows the patient has vascular disease elsewhere in the body. Blockages can also be found when your physician hears a sound through a stethoscope placed on the neck. The sound is caused by blood flowing past the blockage.
Carotid Artery Stenting with the TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) Procedure
This procedure is presently available to you only if you have other conditions that place you at a highrisk for carotid endarterectomy (open surgery).The procedure involves placement of a stent into your carotid artery.
The TCAR Procedure (TransCarotid Artery Revascularization) is performed through a small incision at your neckline just above your clavicle. The incision is smaller than a typical Carotid Artery Endarterectomy (CEA) incision. Your surgeon will temporarily place a tube directly into your carotid artery and connect it to a system that will temporarily direct blood flow away from your brain to protect against particles that may come loose during the procedure. Your blood will flow through the system and very smallparticles may be captured in a filter. Your filtered blood will then be returned through a tube in your upper leg. While flow is reversed, a stent is placed at the area of your blockage. The stent holds the artery open to allow normal blood flow to the brain. The stent is approximately ¾ to 1½ inches inlength and ¼ inch in diameter when expanded. You may remain awake during the stenting procedure.. After the stent is placed successfully, flow reversal is turned off and blood flow resumes in its normal direction.