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Holy Cross Health Among Broward County’s First To Offer Innovative TCAR Procedure To Treat Carotid Artery Disease

New minimally invasive procedure prevents stroke

October 28, 2021 – Holy Cross Health is now treating carotid artery disease and preventing future strokes with the new procedure, Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR – pronounced tee-kahr). TCAR is a clinically proven and user-friendly treatment option that uses a temporary reversal of flow during direct transcarotid stent placement to provide neuroprotection in a more efficient and less invasive approach.

Andrey Lima, MD, left, and Handel Robinson, MD at the Phil Smith Neuroscience Institute of Holy Cross Health

Carotid artery disease is a form of atherosclerosis, or a buildup of plaque, in the two main arteries in the neck that supply the brain with oxygen-rich blood. If left untreated, usually silent carotid artery disease is responsible for a third of strokes.

“Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke in the United States and it didn’t stop during COVID,” neuroendovascular surgeon Andrey Lima, MD told the Phil Smith Neuroscience Institute at Holy Cross Health. “Over 20,000 procedures have been performed worldwide through clinical trials and commercial use of TCAR and the clinical data has been excellent. “

The TCAR is unique in that the blood flow is temporarily reversed during the procedure so that any small pieces of plaque that may break off are diverted from the brain, thus preventing a stroke from occurring. A stent is then placed inside the artery to stabilize the plaque, thereby minimizing the risk of a future stroke.

Prior to TCAR, the main treatment option for severe carotid artery disease was open surgery called carotid endarterectomy (CE). CEA removes plaque from inside the carotid artery to restore normal blood flow to the brain, but the large incision leaves a visible scar along the length of the neck and carries the risk of surgical complications, including bleeding, infections, heart attacks, and damage to the cranial nerves that can cause problems with swallowing, speech, and feeling in the face.

Compared to open surgery, TCAR has been shown to offer exceptional stroke prevention, lower risk of heart attack and nerve damage, and it is a shorter procedure. It is well suited for patients who are at higher risk of surgical complications due to age, medical co-morbidities or anatomical problems.

More than 400,000 new diagnoses of carotid artery disease are made each year in the United States. Risk factors for carotid artery disease are a family history of metabolic syndrome, advanced age, lack of physical activity, poor diet, blocked arteries, and a history of smoking.

“Up to 80% of strokes are preventable,” said vascular surgeon Handel Robinson, MD at the Phil Smith Neuroscience Institute at Holy Cross Health. “Eliminating or minimizing the risks and talking to your doctor to see if you qualify for screening could potentially save your life.

To schedule a consultation and learn more about the TCAR procedure, please call the Phil Smith Neuroscience Institute at (954) 414-9750.

About Sainte-Croix Santé:

Member of Trinity Health, Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, dba Holy Cross Health, is a full-service, non-profit Catholic teaching hospital operating in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy. Holy Cross was named one of the Top 10 Hospitals in Metro Miami and one of the Top 30 in the state in the 2021-2022 rankings of the best hospitals by US News and World Report. Through strategic collaborations and a commitment to be a person-centered, transformative and healing presence, the 557-bed hospital provides progressive inpatient, outpatient, and community outreach services and clinical research trials to serve as a our community’s trusted lifelong health partner. Holy Cross Health also encompasses the Holy Cross HealthPlex outpatient facility, emergency care centers, and more than 50 Holy Cross medical group practices. To learn more about Holy Cross Health, visit Holy-cross.com. Log in @holycrossfl.

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