Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center is one of the few hospitals in the country and one of only three hospitals in the state to offer TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR), the most advanced minimally invasive procedure that dramatically reduces the risk of stroke in patients being treated for carotid artery disease.
Every year, 795,000 people suffer a stroke in the United States. An Ischemic stroke occurs when the carotid artery, which carries blood to the brain, is blocked. If left untreated, built-up plaque can cause a blockage in the artery. If the plaque dislodges and travels to the brain, it results in a stroke. This type of strokes occurs in 80 to 90 percent of all stroke patients.
“TCAR is a revolutionary procedure that addresses carotid artery disease with a much lower risk of stroke as compared to more traditional approaches,” says M. Usman Nasir Khan, M.D., FACS, chief of vascular surgery at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Dr. Kahn is the only physician in the central and southern region of New Jersey (and one of three credentialed physicians in the state) to perform TCAR, and is one of the only physicians in New Jersey trained in this advanced procedure. His expertise has established Jersey Shore University Medical Center as a center of excellence in this area of cardiovascular and neuroscience expertise.
A tiny incision is made in the bottom of the neck and a soft, flexible sheath is placed directly into the carotid artery. It is connected to a system that reverses the flow of blood away from the brain, which protects against fragments of plaque that may come loose during the procedure. The blood is filtered and returned through a second sheath placed in the femoral vein in the patient’s thigh. If a blood clot does break loose, instead of traveling up into the brain and causing stroke, it moves in the opposite direction and is filtered into the vein.
With the blood flow safely going away from the brain, the surgeon can perform balloon angioplasty and stenting in the neck. 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.
TCAR is a state-of-the-art procedure that blends the advantages of traditional carotid endarterectomy (incision in the neck) and stenting. This safe procedure requires a small incision point in the neck (near the collar bone) and another small incision point in the groin. TCAR is less invasive, reduces the risk of stroke, and has a quick recovery (with most patients going home in less than 24 hours.)
“Some individuals are unable to undergo conventional procedures to treat their carotid artery disease,” says Dr. Khan. “These patients often include those who have previously had surgery on their neck, are obese, have a pre-existing heart condition, or have had radiation to the head or neck. TCAR, however, is well suited for patients with these types of anatomic high risk features.” Dr. Khan also notes that the anatomy of the carotid artery is a key factor to determine whether or not a patient can undergo TCAR, and the surgeon will determine if appropriate criteria is met to move forward with the procedure.
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH
Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 13 hospitals, including two academic medical centers, two children’s hospitals and nine community hospitals, physician practices, more than 140 ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 28,000 team members, more than 6,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.
The Network’s notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, the number one hospital in New Jersey as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.
The hospitals of Hackensack Meridian Health include: academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune; children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; community hospitals – Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood.
For additional information, please visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org.