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Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center now Offering the TCAR Procedure for Carotid Artery Disease

Feb 5, 2020

Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center is now offering a procedure to treat carotid artery disease and help prevent future strokes using a new procedure called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR). TCAR (tee-kahr) is a clinically proven, minimally invasive and safe approach for high surgical risk patients who need carotid artery treatment.

Carotid artery disease is a form of atherosclerosis, or a buildup of plaque, in the two main arteries in the neck that supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain. If left untreated, carotid artery disease can often lead to stroke; it is estimated to be the source of stroke in up to a third of cases, with 400,000 new diagnoses of the disease made every year in the U.S. alone.

“TCAR is an important new option in the fight against stroke, and is a good fit for advancing the cardiac services at our hospital,” said Teresa Urquhart, chief executive officer of Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.  “We performed the first open heart surgery in Palm Beach County at our hospital, and in keeping with our commitment to be on the forefront of cardiac care, I believe TCAR is the future of carotid repairs.”

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 also have the option of the traditional open surgical procedure for severe carotid artery, called carotid endarterectomy (CEA). CEA removes plaque from inside the carotid artery to restore normal blood flow to the brain and is still considered the standard treatment for low-risk patients. With the addition of the TCAR procedure to Palm Beach Gardens, patients who are considered to be high risk for CEA, now have another option for treatment that also lowers their risk of stroke.

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