February 21, 2023
The minimally invasive procedure reduces the risk of a future stroke
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC in Central Pa. has performed its 100th Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) procedure. TCAR is a clinically proven, minimally invasive procedure to treat carotid artery disease and help prevent future strokes.
Carotid artery disease develops slowly. The first sign of the condition may be a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA is a temporary shortage of blood flow to your brain.
"The carotid arteries are major blood vessels that provide your brain's blood supply,” said Daniel Calderon, M.D, UPMC vascular surgeon who performed the 100th TCAR procedure. “A blockage in one of the carotid arteries means an increased risk of stroke, so getting rid of that blockage could save a patient’s life. Treating carotid artery disease with TCAR is one of many options used by doctors at UPMC in Central Pa. Compared to other treatment options, TCAR carries a lower risk of stroke and heart attack.”
During a TCAR, a small incision right above the collarbone gives the surgeon direct access to the blockage in the carotid artery. 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. Patients who undergo the TCAR procedure recover quickly and almost always go home the next day with less pain and smaller scars.
“This milestone is another testament to how important advanced cardiovascular care is at UPMC in Central Pa., and we’re proud to offer this treatment to our patients,” said David Loran M.D., chief of cardiac and vascular surgery, UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC in Central Pa. “Our long-standing expert vascular surgeons and clinical providers are committed to the mission of delivering world-class care close to home, facilitated by cutting-edge clinical research to patients in the region.”
Pioneers in cardiovascular health since 1956, doctors at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute in central Pennsylvania were the first in the region to perform open heart surgery and the first to perform coronary artery balloon angioplasty. Other firsts include the implantation of a drug-eluting coronary stent, percutaneous (minimally invasive) aortic valve procedures (TAVR) and the implantation of an FDA-approved percutaneous mitral valve repair device. UPMC’s vascular surgeons are experts at providing exceptional care through both vascular and endovascular techniques.
For more information or to schedule an appointment at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, visit UPMC.com/CentralPaHeart.