New Less Invasive Treatment for Carotid Artery Disease Reduces Stroke Risk

September 13, 2019

Mercy Clinic physicians are offering a new procedure at Mercy Hospital South and Mercy Hospital St. Louis to treat patients with carotid artery disease: TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR).

TCAR is a clinically proven treatment that decreases the risk of stroke, uses a less invasive approach than traditional carotid endarterectomy and is safer than transfemoral stenting approached through a groin puncture.

During TCAR, doctors access the carotid artery in the neck through a small incision just above the collarbone. They temporarily reverse blood flow while inserting a tiny, flexible stent. In traditional procedures, pushing past the built-up plaque in the artery can dislodge small pieces and send them to the brain, which can cause a stroke. With the reversed blood flow, those loose pieces of plaque are trapped in a filter, reducing the risk of stroke in comparison to standard stenting procedures.

TCAR is an FDA-approved procedure that has been studied extensively. Published data from clinical trials show the procedure has better outcomes, including a low risk of stroke in even the highest-risk patients. And with the less invasive approach, TCAR has a shorter recovery time. Most patients go home the day after the procedure.

“In the approximately 100 TCAR procedures already performed at Mercy South and Mercy St. Louis, we’ve seen excellent results that mirror what was reported in the studies,” said Dr. Brian Peterson, vascular surgeon with Mercy Clinic Vascular Specialists – 10012 Kennerly Suite 305. “It’s important for both patients and physicians to know this advanced technique is available.”