Vascular surgeons at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital will become the first in Philadelphia to perform a recently post-clinical trial approved procedure to treat carotid artery disease, a condition that annually affects more than 300,000 people in the United States.
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The hospital announced this week that it will begin enrolling patients for a procedure known as Transcarotid Artery Revascularization, an operation designed to clear plaque and reduce the stroke risk associated with the disease.
“Our goal is to treat the blockage with as little procedural risk as possible so that our patients can return to full and productive lives,” said Dr. Paul DiMuzio, Division Director of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. “It’s imperative for surgeons and physicians to keep a close eye on emerging research and new options which might change the way we treat this disease.”
The most commonly used treatment for severe carotid artery disease remains a carotid endarterectomy, which has proven effective but also carries heightened risks of surgical complications, heart attack and nerve injuries.
With TCAR, surgeons temporarily reverse blood flow in the carotid artery in order to drive away dangerous debris that can cause a procedural stroke if it reaches the brain. By implanting a stent in the carotid artery, the procedure aims to open and stabilize the narrowing passageway, removing blockages that fragment and increase the risk of stroke.
Jefferson will be one of 30 sites in the United States enrolling 600 patients in the post-approval TCAR study.