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New procedure helps treat strokes

Posted at 8:37 AM, Jul 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 11:37:01-04

Carondelet St. Mary's Heart and Vascular Institute is the first Southern Arizona hospital to offer a new surgery to help patients at risk for stroke.

The surgery is less invasive and has a quicker recovery time for patients with clogged arteries.The TCAR procedure could help change that. It stands for trans-carotid artery revascularization.

The typical procedure before TCAR puts a stint into the artery to clean out any blockages or plaque, but the incision is done at the groin. Doctors then must trace it all the way through your torso, which is risky and invasive.

The TCAR surgery makes an incision right at the neck where the blockage actually is. Dr. Scott Berman of the Carondelet St. Mary's Heart and Vascular Institute said this opens the door to help patients who may not be able to have such a traditionally high risk procedure.

"We've eliminate transversing all those diseased arteries, and we've protected the brain more maximally when we actually have put the stint in," said Berman.

The risk for complications during and especially after surgery is also much less with the TCAR surgery. This procedure also opens the door for patients to get insurance coverage for this procedure who might not qualify for the traditional surgery.

Dr. Berman recommends anyone with questions about the less invasive TCAR surgery talk to their doctor.

This has a potentially wide reaching impact as stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and every year, more than 300,000 people are diagnosed with blockages in their carotid artery that can lead to stroke.