HOBART | St. Mary Medical Center is the first hospital in Northwest Indiana to treat carotid artery disease and reduce  the risk of future strokes using an innovative procedure called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR). TCAR is a  clinically proven and minimally invasive approach for patients who need carotid artery treatment.  

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. 

Worldwide, nearly 5 million people die from a stroke, and another 5 million are left permanently disabled every year. 

Carotid artery disease is a form of atherosclerosis, or a build-up of plaque, 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. With up to a  third of strokes caused by carotid artery disease, St. Mary Medical Center offers patients minimally invasive options such  as TCAR to prevent future strokes with a faster recovery time and an increased chance of being discharged to home. 

“TCAR is an important option in the fight against stroke,” said Anas Safadi, MD, an interventional cardiologist with  Community Healthcare System. “Because of its low stroke risk and faster patient recovery, TCAR represents the future of  carotid repair.”  

TCAR is unique in that blood flow is temporarily reversed during the procedure so that 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.  

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.  Now patients can be evaluated to determine the best option for them based on their clinical presentation.  

The TCAR® system was developed by California-based Silk Road Medical, Inc. 

The TCAR procedure is one of the numerous comprehensive cardiovascular care options at the hospitals of Community  Healthcare System, which includes Community Hospital in Munster; St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago; St. Mary  Medical Center in Hobart and Community Stroke & Rehabilitation Center in Crown Point. For more information about  cardiovascular care at the hospitals of Community Healthcare System, visit COMHS.org/heart

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PHOTO CUTLINE: Recently, a cardiovascular medical team at St. Mary Medical Center performed the area’s first TCAR  procedure for patients with carotid artery disease – a leading cause of stroke. TCAR (Transcarotid Artery  Revascularization) is an innovative, less-invasive procedure available to help treat the disease. From left are, Mehdi  Akhavan-Heidari, MD; Laura Schmidt, peripheral vascular coordinator; Kais Yehyawi, MD; Vsevolod Tikhomirov, MD; and  Anas Safadi, MD.