The TCAR procedure takes about 2-3 hours at Gates Vascular Institute and most patients are put under general anesthesia.
The procedure begins with a small incision above the collarbone. A catheter (long tube) is then guided into the carotid artery. A stent, which is a metal tube, is placed over the diseased area of the carotid artery to widen the artery and improve circulation.
To prevent any plaque from breaking off of the carotid artery and travelling to the brain during the procedure, TCAR utilizes a “flow reversal” system. The surgeon creates a temporary circuit outside of the body that reverses blood in the carotid artery and prevents it from travelling to the brain. The blood is then passed through a filter that collects any plaque debris and safely returns blood to a vein in the leg. During this portion of the procedure, the stent is placed over the diseased portion of the carotid artery.
Patients, at a minimum, will spend 1 night in the hospital, and most are discharged the following day. Our practice at BEVSA is one of the leaders in TCAR procedures in the WNY region and our surgeons have performed over 100 successful surgeries. For more information about TCAR, and to hear one of our surgeons explain the procedure, click on the video below.