Baptist Health Paducah announced earlier this week it’s become the region’s only hospital to treat carotid artery disease and prevent future strokes using transcarotid artery revascularization, or TCAR.
Hospital officials said the procedure is clinically proven and a minimally invasive approach for high surgical risk patients, who need carotid artery treatment.
Officials described carotid artery disease as a form of atherosclerosis, or a build-up of plaque, in the neck’s two main arteries that supply blood to the brain. This can often lead to stroke, if left untreated. With up to a third of strokes caused by carotid artery disease, the hospital offers patients minimally invasive options, such as TCAR, to prevent future strokes with a faster recovery time and an increased chance of being discharged.
A vascular team successfully performed the first TCAR procedure at Baptist Health Paducah last month, according to a hospital news release.
The team consisted of Griffin Bicking, DO, vascular surgeon; Amanda Casebier, RN; Marla Johnson, CFA/CST; Missy O’Conner, CST; Zachary Gillum, CST; Kari Jones, RT, and Courtney Hunter, RT.
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, preventing a stroke from happening, according to the news release. A stent is then put inside the artery to stabilize the plaque, minimizing risk of a future stroke.
Before TCAR, the main treatment option for severe carotid artery disease was an open surgical procedure called carotid endarterectomy.
Hospital officials said CEA removes plaque from inside the artery to restore normal blood flow to the brain, but a large incision leaves a visible scar the length of the neck and carries risks of surgical complications, which include bleeding, infection, heart attack and cranial nerve injuries that can cause issues with swallowing, speaking and sensation in the face.
“We are excited to bring this important procedure to our region,” Bicking said, in the news release.
“TCAR combines aspects of cardiology, vascular and cardiac surgery and the close collaboration allows for excellent outcomes. This new procedure allow our patients to spend less time in the hospital and more time at home with their loved ones, as well as a reduced chance for a stroke in the future.”
Baptist Health Paducah’s surgeons offer a range of surgical procedures to patients suffering from vascular problems, such traditional surgical repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms, surgical repair of blockages in the arteries of the legs, endarterectomy, angioplasty, thrombectomy/embolectomy, vein stripping to remove varicose veins, as well as several minimally-invasive endovascular procedures, according to the news release.
Call 270-415-5802 to learn more information about TCAR.