What is Carotid Disease?
Two main arteries known as carotid arteries supply the brain with blood. These blood vessels are located on either side of the neck. In healthy carotid arteries, blood flows freely. However, plaque can build up inside the walls of the carotid arteries, narrowing the channel and restricting blood flow. This condition is known as carotid stenosis.
TCAR is a less invasive alternative to carotid endarterectomy, so procedures tend to be shorter and is more commonly done under local anesthesia. The surgeon still makes an incision, but it’s much smaller and is lower on the neck, close to the collar bone.
The surgeon places a specialized tube into the carotid artery and temporarily reverses the blood flow away from the brain. This is to protect against debris that may come loose during the procedure. The blood is filtered and returned through another tube in the upper leg. While the flow is reversed, a stent is placed to prop open and stabilize the plaque. Most patients experience no issues with the temporary blood flow reversal because there are multiple arteries that continue to supply blood to the brain.
Once the stent is deployed, flow reversal is stopped and the surgeon will remove all the tubes and close the incisions with stitches.
Expect to remain in the hospital for one or two days following treatment. While you’re in the hospital, you may have an IV to provide you with fluids, and your vital signs will be monitored.
Once you return home, take it easy for a few days. Your doctor will give you specific instructions for how to care for your incision. You should be able to return to work and other activities in several days.
Carotid Disease Management and Surgery
Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons,
Learn more about Carotid Disease Management and Surgery offered at Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons serving Central Texas.