[Bryan, TX] – [July 13, 2020] – St. Joseph Health is the first in the Brazos Valley to treat carotid artery disease and prevent future strokes using a new procedure called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR). TCAR (tee-kahr) 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 may 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 an important new option in the fight against stroke, and is particularly 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 Dr. Charles Smith. “Because of its low stroke risk and faster patient recovery, I believe TCAR represents one option in the future of carotid revascularization.”
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. A stent is then placed inside the artery to stabilize the plaque, minimizing the risk of a future stroke.
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.
The TCAR procedure was developed by Sunnyvale, California-based Silk Road Medical, Inc. and includes the ENROUTE® Transcarotid Neuroprotection (NPS) and Stent System – the first devices designed and FDA-approved specifically for TCAR. Over 15,000 TCAR procedures have been performed worldwide through clinical trial and commercial use. TCAR has been studied extensively, and the clinical data have been excellent. Additional information about TCAR is available at http://silkroadmed.com/disease-and-treatment-options/.
About St. Joseph Health
St. Joseph Health is comprised of five hospitals, two long term care facilities and multiple clinics across the Brazos Valley, including Regional Hospital in Bryan-College Station and St. Joseph Health – College Station Hospital (formerly College Station Medical Center). St. Joseph Health is home to a Level II Major Trauma Center, the highest in the region. St. Joseph Health is an academic and clinical partner of Texas A&M Health Science Center. Together, the St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network includes over 100 employed primary care physicians, specialists and advanced practice clinicians. As an active member of the Brazos Valley, St. Joseph Health is a leader in providing compassionate care and are committed to overall health of the community. We are part of CommonSpirit Health, the largest Catholic healthcare system in the United States, and is committed to advancing the health of all people and dedicated to serving the common good. Learn more about St. Joseph Health at CHIStJoseph.org.
[For more information, please contact Communications Manager Tracy Bates at 713-962-9347 or [email protected].]