Baton Rouge, La. – Last week, a patient at Baton Rouge General was among the first in the country to benefit from a new stroke prevention procedure. Dr. Vince Weaver, a vascular surgeon at Vascular Specialty Center, is the first physician in South Louisiana and the only physician in Baton Rouge to perform a new, minimally invasive procedure that reverses the blood flow through the brain to divert blood clots and plaque away from the brain to prevent blockage and stroke.
“Strokes can be tragic and life-altering, and I’m thrilled to be able to offer such an important new option in the fight against them,” said Dr. Weaver. “TCAR is particularly suited for the large portion of patients we see who are at higher risk of complications from other traditional procedures. Because of the TCAR procedure’s low stroke risk, we think it has the potential to become the standard of care for all patients.”
In this new minimally invasive procedure, called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization or TCAR, through a small incision at the base of the neck, physicians temporarily reverse the blood flow in the carotid artery prior to placing a stent in one of the patient’s neck arteries to prevent blockage from clogging arteries and potentially leading to stroke.
“TCAR is able to provide patients with the safest possible treatment option for patients with carotid artery disease,” said Dr. Weaver.
Before this procedure was available, the main treatment option for high risk patients with blocked carotid arteries was open surgery, which increases the risk of major complications such as stroke, heart attack, and cranial nerve injuries that can cause issues with swallowing, speaking, and sensation in the face. The alternate procedure option for patients with previous neck surgery, difficult anatomy or radiation treatment has an even higher stroke risk.
“TCAR allows me to avoid these anatomic locations drastically reducing the risk of a stroke during surgery,” said Dr. Weaver.
In addition to lower risk, patients can also expect a faster and less painful recovery. Dr. Weaver said, “The hour-long surgery went smoothly, and we expect TCAR patients to be discharged from the hospital the morning after surgery.”
Every year, 15 million people worldwide suffer from strokes. Nearly six million die and another five million are left permanently disabled. Stroke is the second leading cause of disability worldwide, and is the number four cause of death in Louisianians each year. Carotid artery disease is estimated to be the source of stroke in up to a third of cases.
About TCAR with the ENROUTE Transcarotid Neuroprotection and Stent System The ENROUTE® Transcarotid Neuroprotection (NPS) and Stent System from Silk Road Medical, Inc. are the first devices designed and FDA-approved specifically for TCAR. The ENROUTE Transcarotid Stent is indicated for use in High Surgical Risk patients and is intended to be used in conjunction with the ENROUTE Transcarotid Neuroprotection System (NPS). The ENROUTE Transcarotid NPS is used to directly access the common carotid artery and initiate high rate temporary blood flow reversal to protect the brain from stroke while delivering and implanting the ENROUTE Transcarotid Stent.
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