Lakeview Regional Medical Center, a campus of Tulane Medical Center, is the first hospital in the Greater New Orleans metro area to treat carotid artery disease and help prevent future strokes using a new procedure called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization, or TCAR. TCAR (tee-kahr) is a clinically proven, minimally invasive and safe approach for high-surgical risk patients who need carotid artery treatment.

“It seemed so easy compared to the other surgeries I’ve had, and the recovery was much faster,” said Joseph Wilder, a 76-year-old Carriere, MS resident who was considered too risky for traditional surgery. “I was out of the hospital the day after the procedure with a much smaller scar than I expected. I feel great and if I would need to do the other side Dr. Kaplan would be the physician I would choose.”

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. It is particularly suited for the large portion of patients we see who are at higher risk of complications from carotid surgery due to age, anatomy or other medical conditions,” said Dr. David Kaplan, a vascular surgeon at Lakeview Regional. “Because of its low stroke risk, less invasive, smaller incision and faster patient recovery, TCAR represents the future of carotid repair.”

"TCAR is an important new option in the fight against stroke. It is particularly suited for the large portion of patients we see who are at higher risk of complications from carotid surgery."
Dr. David Kaplan

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.

Prior to TCAR, the main treatment option for severe carotid artery disease was an open surgical procedure called carotid endarterectomy, or CEA. CEA removes plaque from inside the carotid artery to restore normal blood flow to the brain, however a large scar at the point of incision is left on the neck and it does carry some risks of surgical complications.

To learn more about this and other cutting-edge cardiovascular procedures at Lakeview Regional, please visit LakeviewRegional.com. To schedule an appointment with a Lakeview Regional Physician Group cardiovascular specialist, please visit LakeviewPhysicianGroup.com or call (985) 246-1100.