Forrest General Hospital became the first hospital in Mississippi to use the transcarotid artery revascularization method of carotid stenting on Feb. 27.

The procedure was performed by Edgar Guzman, MD, FACS, RPVI, vascular surgeon at Forrest General Hospital.

TCAR is a new treatment option for carotid artery disease that prevents stroke during the procedure by temporarily reversing blood flow in the carotid artery. This prevents debris from traveling to the brain and causing a stroke. During the procedure, physicians implant a stent to treat the blockage and lower the patient’s risk of future stroke. After the stent is placed successfully to stabilize the plaque in the carotid artery, flow reversal is turned off and blood flow to the brain resumes in its normal direction.

“In this particular case, the patient had a previous surgical reconstruction and abnormalities of the blood vessels making traditional carotid stenting impossible,” said Guzman. “TCAR allowed the team to overcome both issues, while at the same time reducing the risk of stroke via reversal of flow in the carotid artery. At the end of the procedure, the filter in the system had captured significant debris that would have caused a stroke had they reached the brain.”

The carotid arteries are major blood vessels located on either side of the neck that deliver blood to the brain. When a person checks their pulse by touching their neck, they’re feeling one of the carotid arteries. Carotid artery disease occurs when a blockage forms in one or both of these arteries that decreases blood flow to the brain, which can lead to a stroke.

Physicians treat this condition using angioplasty, or carotid stenting, to open up the artery and remove the blockage. One of the common risks of the procedure is stroke because of blood clots that may form on the catheters breaking loose…