Our vascular surgeons treat a variety of health concerns, such as aneurysms, varicose veins and other vascular problems caused by build up of plaque in veins and arteries. Their specialty does not, however, include cardiac surgery, which treats blockages in the heart.
Vascular disease is caused by the build-up of fatty substances that collect and stick to the linings of your 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, and neck. The symptoms from these blockages depend on what artery is affected and the severity of the blockages.
For patients with carotid artery disease who are at risk for traditional open surgery, a less-invasive, clinically proven alternative called TCAR is available.
The TCAR procedure is performed through a small incision at your neckline just above your clavicle. This incision is much smaller than a typical CEA incision. The surgeon will 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 dangerous debris from reaching your brain during the procedure.
Your blood will flow through the system and any material will be captured in a filter outside the body. Your filter blood will then be returned through a second tube in your upper thigh. A carotid stent will be implanted to stabilize the plaque and prevent future strokes. After the stent is placed successfully, flow reversal is turned off and blood flow resumes in its normal direction. TCAR has demonstrated the lowest stroke rate of clinical studies to date.