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Aspirus St. Luke's is Only Hospital North of the Twin Cities to Offer Innovative Stroke Procedure

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St. Luke's first TCAR procedureSt. Luke’s is the only hospital north of the Twin Cities to treat carotid artery disease and prevent future strokes using a new procedure called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR). TCAR is a clinically proven, minimally invasive and safe approach for high surgical risk patients who need carotid artery treatment.

Carotid artery disease is a form of plaque buildup in the two main arteries in the neck that supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain. If left untreated, carotid artery disease can often lead to stroke. It is estimated to be the source of stroke in up to a third of cases, with 400,000 new diagnoses made every year in the United States alone.

“TCAR is an important new option in the fight against stroke, and is particularly suited for the patients we see who are at higher risk of complications from carotid surgery due to age, anatomy, or other medical conditions,” St. Luke’s Vascular Surgeon Dr. Mark Eginton said. “Because of its low stroke risk and faster patient recovery, I believe TCAR represents a great option to offer for carotid repair.”

TCAR is unique in that blood flow is temporarily reversed during the procedure so any small bits of plaque that may break off are diverted away from the brain, preventing a stroke from happening. A stent is then placed inside the artery to stabilize the plaque, minimizing the risk of a future stroke.