Congratulations to Joseph J. Ricotta MD, MS, DFSVS, FACS, National Medical Director, Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy for the Palm Beach Health Network and Tenet Healthcare, and his team on completing their 250th TCAR procedure!
In June of 2018, Delray Medical Center was the first in South Florida to treat carotid artery disease and prevent future strokes using a new procedure called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR). The procedure was performed by Joseph J. Ricotta MD, MS, FACS, Regional Medical Director, Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy.
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 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 (CEA). CEA removes plaque from inside the carotid artery to restore normal blood flow to the brain, but the large incision leaves a visible scar the length of the neck and carries risks of surgical complications, including bleeding, infection, heart attack and cranial nerve injuries that can cause issues with swallowing, speaking and sensation in the face.
The TCAR procedure was developed by Sunnyvale, California-based Silk Road Medical, Inc. and includes the ENROUTE® Transcarotid Neuroprotection (NPS) and Stent System – the first devices designed and FDA-approved specifically for TCAR. Over 4,000 TCAR procedures have been performed worldwide through clinical trial and commercial use. TCAR has been studied extensively, and the clinical data have been excellent.