Ocean Medical Center Offers Innovative TCAR Procedure to Treat Carotid Artery Disease

Brick, NJ – The Vascular Program at Hackensack Meridian Health Ocean Medical Center is among the first in Ocean County to offer Trans-cervical Carotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR), a treatment that dramatically reduces the risk of stroke in patients with blocked arteries, the major blood vessels that deliver blood to the brain. Ocean Medical Center joins Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Hackensack University Medical Center as one of three hospitals in the Hackensack Meridian Health network to offer this minimally invasive procedure, and the only hospital with three certified physicians.

Carotid artery disease is a buildup of plaque in two of the main arteries in the neck that supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain. If left untreated, carotid artery disease can lead to stroke. TCAR is a minimally invasive and safe procedure that is clinically proven to temporarily reverse blood flow in the artery to prevent dangerous plaque from traveling to the brain and causing a stroke while repairing the artery with a stent.

Fellowship-trained vascular surgeon, Vikalp Jain, M.D., RPVI of Jersey Coast Vascular Institute at Ocean Medical Center is among one of the first surgeons in the country to gain expertise with the TCAR procedure. He has been performing the procedure for more than four years. “TCAR addresses carotid artery disease for high surgical risk patients at much lower risk of stroke as compared to more traditional approaches,” said Dr. Jain. “Because of its low stroke risk and faster patient recovery, TCAR represents the future of carotid repair.”

TCAR is a state-of-the-art procedure the blends the advantages of traditional carotid endarterectomy incision in the neck and stenting. This safe procedure requires a smaller incision point in the neck (near the collar bone) and another access point in the groin. TCAR is less invasive, reduces the risk of stroke, and has a quick recovery (with most patients less than 24 hours.)

“We are proud to offer this treatment option for high risk stroke patients at Ocean Medical Center,” said Kenneth N. Sable, M.D. MBA, FACEP, regional president southern market, Hackensack Meridian Health. “With this minimally invasive procedure, more patients will now have access to another option for a life-saving treatment.”

Prior to TCAR, the main treatment option for severe carotid artery disease was an open surgical procedure called carotid endarterectomy (CEA). CEA removes plaque from inside the carotid artery to restore normal blood flow to the brain, but the large incision leaves a visible scar the length of the neck and carries risk of surgical complications, including bleeding, infection, heart attack and cranial nerve injuries that can cause issues with swallowing speaking and sensation in the face. By offering both the TCAR and CEA treatments as well as traditional stenting, vascular surgeons can provide patients with carotid artery disease with the best possible treatment that will meet their individual needs.