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A cardiologist holds a stethoscope to check her patient's heart rate and rhythm.

Transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR)

A minimally invasive procedure, transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) can clear blockages and open a narrowed carotid artery. For those with carotid artery disease and a higher risk of stroke, a St. Joseph Health cardiologist will recommend this procedure.

The TCAR procedure reduces the risk of stroke by temporarily reversing blood flow to prevent any bits of broken plaque from moving toward the brain. A surgical balloon and stent are then used to reopen the narrowed artery.

Benefits of the TCAR procedure

  • Lowers the risk of stroke
  • Less scarring
  • Lower rates of infection
  • Shorter hospital stays

TCAR risk factors

  • Stroke, heart attack, or death
  • Damage to your carotid artery or cranial nerve
  • Bleeding, bruising, or swelling at the access site in your neck

TCAR eligibility

  • Qualifications for the TCAR procedure include:
  • 75 years of age or older
  • Congestive heart failure or unstable angina
  • Heart attack within the past six weeks
  • History of head or neck surgery
  • Restenosis or stenosis in both carotid arteries
  • Uncontrolled diabetes or severe pulmonary disease

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To learn more about cardiovascular disease management or treatment options, reach out to our Nurse Navigator.