Providence Tarzana Medical Center first in San Fernando Valley to offer TCAR procedure to treat carotid artery disease

April 4, 2018

Minimally invasive technology can prevent strokes in up to a third of cases

Providence Tarzana Medical Center is first in San Fernando Valley to offer an innovative new treatment for patients at risk for stroke caused by blockages in a key artery in the neck known as carotid artery disease. 

Every year, 15 million people worldwide suffer strokes, nearly 6 million cases are fatal while another 5 million patients are left permanently disabled. Carotid artery disease is estimated to be the source of stroke in up to a third of cases and there are 400,000 new diagnoses of carotid artery disease made every year in the United States alone.1, 2

TransCarotid Artery Revascularization or (TCAR), utilizes a recently FDA-approved minimally invasive technology that treats carotid artery disease by diverting clots and plaque by reversing blood flow, allowing for a stent to be inserted in the trans-carotid artery to stabilize the blockage. 

Older treatment options for severe carotid artery disease include an open surgical procedure called carotid endarterectomy – which results in a visible scar the length of the neck and carries risks of surgical complications including bleeding, infection, heart attack and nerve injuries that can impair swallowing, speaking and sensation in the face.  

Zahi Nassoura, M.D., a vascular surgeon at Providence Tarzana Medical Center, is among the first in the country to gain expertise with the TCAR procedure.  “TCAR gives me the excellent neuro-protection I expect from carotid endarterectomy, but the procedure is far less invasive, which has real benefits to the patient. They recover quickly with less pain, and the risks of both minor and major complications are significantly decreased,” explained Dr. Nassoura. “The clinical studies have recently shown that TCAR carries a lower peri-procedure stroke rate than carotid endarterectomy and carotid stenting. It represents the modernization of carotid disease treatment, and may replace open surgery.”

Results from clinical trials of TCAR were so compelling that the Society for Vascular Surgery, in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, recently launched a novel program called the TCAR Surveillance Project. This program provides expanded insurance coverage of TCAR procedures for Medicare beneficiaries while allowing individual hospitals and the society to track quality benchmarks.

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