Patient Doesn’t Miss a Beat after TCAR Procedure

2 min read  |  March 20, 2024  | 

Alan Sima loves singing in church. But a recent trip to the emergency room put the music on pause.

“They said, “We noticed you have a blockage here at 90%,” Alan says.

Alan had carotid stenosis. Arash Bornak, M.D., a vascular surgeon who specializes in carotid disease at UHealth, says a blockage in the carotid artery can lead to stroke.

“When these fatty deposits, over many years progress, they form plaque and that results in narrowing of your carotids. At some point, if the narrowing becomes severe enough, that can cause a stroke or stroke-like symptoms,” says Dr. Bornak.

TCAR procedure decreases stroke risk in patients

UHealth is uniquely positioned to treat patients with all types of carotid artery disease. Because of the location of Alan’s blockage, Dr. Bornak performed a highly specialized procedure called TCAR.

“Transcarotid artery revascularization, or TCAR. And that’s done through a small incision over the base of the neck. We basically reverse the blood flow instead of the blood going up from the base of the neck up to your brain, the blood flow is reversed the other way. We jail the plaque that could potentially have caused a stroke in the future,” Dr. Bornak says.

The UHealth vascular surgery team has experience in treating high-risk patients like Alan.

“The TCAR modality is a newer technique, so not all institutions can do that. As an academic institution, I would say that we are lucky to see a lot of complex pathologies, whether it be anatomically or complex patients that have a variety of other high-risk features,” says Dr. Bornak.

“I’m in good hands and I know this is going to be great,” Alan says.

After TCAR, Alan’s risk of stroke dropped to lessthan one percent! He says between his wife Alexandra never leaving his side, along with Dr. Bornak, he hasn’t missed a beat!

“That made all the difference in the world for me,” says Alan.

Video transcript compiled by Janna Ross for ‘Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine,’ a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on WPLG Local 10.  For more stories like this one, visit UHealth’s YouTube channel.

Tags: carotid artery disease, Dr. Arash Bornak, focusing on you, preventing stroke, TCAR, transcarotid artery revascularization, vascular surgery

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