FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA – MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center has announced that it is now offering a new procedure called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) to treat carotid artery disease and prevent future strokes. TCAR is a clinically proven, minimally invasive and safe approach for high surgical risk patients who need carotid artery treatment.
Carotid artery disease is a form of atherosclerosis, or a buildup of plaque, in the two main arteries in the neck that supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain. If left untreated, carotid artery disease can often lead to stroke; it is estimated to be the source of stroke in up to a third of cases, with 427,000 new diagnoses of the disease made every year in the U.S. alone.
TCAR is unique in that blood flow is temporarily reversed during the procedure so that any small bits of plaque that may break off are diverted away from the brain, thereby helping prevent a stroke from occurring. A stent is then placed inside the artery to stabilize the plaque, minimizing the risk of a future stroke.
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“TCAR is an important and viable new option in the fight against stroke, and it is well-suited for the large portion of patients we see who are at higher risk of complications from carotid surgery due to age, anatomy, or other medical conditions,” said Steven Schiff, MD, cardiologist and medical director of Invasive Cardiology at MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center.
Prior to TCAR, the main treatment option for severe carotid artery disease was an open surgical procedure called carotid endarterectomy (CEA). CEA removes plaque from inside the carotid artery to restore normal blood flow to the brain, but the large incision leaves a visible scar the length of the neck and carries risks of surgical complications, including bleeding, infection, heart attack and cranial nerve injuries that can cause issues with swallowing, speaking and sensation in the face.
“I believe TCAR represents the future of carotid repair because of its unique ability to prevent future strokes and is a minimally invasive approach, which allows patients to recover faster and reduce their exposure to far fewer potential surgical complications,” explained Son Duong, MD, vascular surgeon at Orange Coast Medical Center.
The TCAR procedure was developed by Sunnyvale, California-based Silk Road Medical, Inc. Over 10,000 TCAR procedures have been performed worldwide through clinical trial and commercial use.
Orange Coast Medical Center consistently voted by Orange County Register readers as a Best Orange County Hospital and ranked #1 hospital in 2017, 2018 and 2019â€”received a large number of U.S. News & World Report "high-performance" rankings, including for Orthopedics, Geriatrics, Gastroenterology & Gastrointestinal Surgery, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Pulmonology & Lung Surgery, Colon Cancer Surgery, Knee Replacement, Urology and Nephrology. The hospital has also been widely recognized for its commitment to patient quality and safety by achieving several top "A" grades in The Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Scores, considered the gold standard measure for hospital safety.