Health

Piedmont Augusta performs first procedure to lower stroke risk patients with carotid artery disease

Stroke, also referred to as a “brain attack,” occurs when a blood vessel breaks or a blood clot blocks an artery, interrupting blood supply to the brain.

Physicians at Piedmont Augusta recently performed the hospital’s first TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR), which lowers the risk of stroke in patients with carotid artery disease, according to an Oct. 12 news release from Piedmont Augusta.

TCAR is a minimally-invasive procedure that temporarily diverts blood flow from the brain to prevent plaque fragments from dislodging and causing a blockage. Surgeons then filter the blood before returning it to a vein in the groin, and a stent is implanted directly into the carotid artery to stabilize the plaque and prevent future strokes.

“Keeping our patients safe is our top priority and the TCAR procedure helps us do that,” said Dr. Charlie Brown, CEO of The Physician Enterprise for Piedmont Healthcare. “The procedure lasts half as long as the traditional surgery, which limits stress on the heart and reduces the risk of a heart attack or stroke occurring during the procedure.”

Patients who undergo the TCAR procedure have a brief hospital stay, often only one night, and recover quickly. The small incision also leads to less pain and a smaller scar.

“The traditional treatment for blockages in the carotid artery – the main artery supplying blood to the brain – is an open surgery called carotid endarterectomy, but it’s risky for some patients because of age, anatomy or other medical conditions,” said Dr. Marat Goldenberg, Piedmont Augusta vascular surgeon who performed the hospital’s first TCAR.  “More than 15,000 TCAR procedures have been performed worldwide, and the data on patient outcomes is excellent. We are excited to be able to offer TCAR as a viable alternative to the Augusta community.”

To learn more about surgical procedures offered throughout Piedmont Healthcare, visit piedmont.org.  

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