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TCAR - A Less Invasive Way to Prevent Stroke

USA Vascular First in Chattanooga to Offer This Breakthrough Technology!

TCAR (tee-car), or TransCarotid Artery Revascularization, is a clinically proven, minimally invasive and safe approach for high surgical risk patients who need carotid artery treatment. While any repair of the carotid artery carries some risk of causing a stroke because of the repair itself, TCAR was designed to help minimize that risk by keeping potential stroke-causing fragments away from the brain.

While there are several causes for stroke, it is estimated that up to a third of cases are caused by carotid artery disease – the buildup of plaque in one or both of the arteries in the neck that supply blood from your heart to your brain. When plaque builds up in the carotid arteries, they begin to narrow and blood flow slows down, potentially causing a stroke if blood flow stops or plaque fragments dislodge and travel up to the brain.

Some individuals can manage carotid artery disease with medications and lifestyle changes. More severe cases, however, may require surgery to repair the blockage in the artery. 

How Does TCAR Work? 

Like the open surgery, carotid endarterectomy (CEA), TCAR involves direct access to the carotid artery, but through a much smaller incision at the neckline just above the clavicle instead of a longer incision on the neck. During the TCAR procedure, a tube inserted into the carotid artery is connected to a system that temporarily directs blood flow away from the brain to protect against dangerous debris from reaching the brain during the procedure. 

Surgeons then filter the blood before returning it to a vein in the groin, and a stent is implanted directly into the carotid artery to stabilize the plaque and prevent future strokes. The entire procedure is performed in less than half the time of CEA – limiting the stress on the heart and significantly cutting the risk of the patient having a stroke or heart attack during the procedure. Watch the animated video below to see how TCAR works! 

Is TCAR Right For Me?

Patients who undergo the TCAR procedure recover quickly (typically spending just one night in the hospital) and almost always go home the next day to return to full and productive lives with less pain, smaller scars and a reduced risk of future strokes.

Your physician may recommend the TCAR procedure if you’ve been diagnosed with carotid artery disease and are not a suitable candidate for CEA. This may depend on your age or other existing medical conditions. For more information about TCAR, call USA Vascular at 423.267.0466 to schedule a consultation with one of our vascular surgeons.

TCAR has been studied extensively and is an FDA-cleared procedure. Over 10,000 procedures have been performed worldwide, and the clinical data have been excellent. Based on published clinical trials, the procedure offers several advantages:


·         Better outcomes. TCAR results in a low peri-procedural stroke rate of 1.4% in high surgical risk patients [1] . This compares favorably to a 2.3% stroke rate of carotid endarterectomy and a 4.1% stroke rate of carotid artery stenting from a trans-femoral approach in standard risk patients [2] . TCAR’s low stroke rate is the lowest reported to date for any prospective,multi-center trial of carotid stenting.


·         Less invasive. The TCAR approach has very low rates of cranial nerve injury and myocardial infarction due to a minimal incision near the clavicle and the transcarotid approach.


·         Patient-friendly. Local anesthesia is favored, and hospital stays are typically overnight for observation. TCAR patients recover quickly and almost always go home the next day to return to full and productive lives with less pain and smaller scars.

[1] JVasc Surgery 2015;62:1227-35

[2] NEngl J Med 2010;363:11-23

Check Your Carotid Health & See if TCAR is Right For You

USA vascular surgeon Dr. Charles Joels offers the TCAR procedure in Chattanooga. Call USA Vascular to schedule your consultation to find out if TCAR is right for you - 423267.0466.