LANSING, Mich. — McLaren Greater Lansing is the first hospital in the mid-Michigan region to treatcarotid artery disease using a new procedure that dramatically lowers the risk for stroke during and after surgery.
Vascular surgeon Syed M. Faisal Alam, MD, performed a TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) at McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital on January 10, 2019. TCAR (tee-kahr) is a clinically proven and minimally invasive approach for high-surgical-risk patients who need carotid artery treatment.
Evart ”Dutch” Manshum of Portland was one of those patients. He retired from Lansing General Hospital, now known as McLaren Greater Lansing, 25 years ago before returning to become the first patient to have a TCAR procedure performed at the hospital. One of the two main arteries in his neck that supplies oxygen-rich blood to his brain was 80 percent blocked when he first learned he needed surgery to remove a buildup of plaque. “It felt scary at first,” said Manshum. “But I had peace of mind knowing my risk of stroke was lower with the new procedure.”
Surgeons go through an extensive training process before performing a TCAR procedure. “TCAR is an easier operation,” said Dr. Alam. “It’s better for patients, and an example of how a newer technology is changing lives for the better.”
Carotid artery disease can often lead to stroke if left untreated, and is estimated to be the source of stroke in up to one-third of cases. With 400,000 new diagnoses of carotid artery disease made every year in the U.S. alone, the TCAR procedure has the potential to revolutionize surgical options.
TCAR is unique because 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.
Before TCAR, procedures involved a large incision that left a visible scar down a patient’s neck, and carried risks of complications that include bleeding, infection, heart attack, and nerve damage. TCAR not only minimizes those risks, but also takes less time to perform. TCAR involves a much smaller incision than previous treatment options for carotid artery disease.
Manshum was out of the hospital just one day after his procedure and felt no pain in his neck where the surgery was performed. “I would recommend Dr. Alam to anybody,” said Manshum. “I trust his skills, and I would tell someone who is thinking about having the TCAR not to worry about it at all.”
TCAR procedures became a reality in the United States about a year ago, and Dr. Alam is already set to perform at least three more TCAR procedures by the end of the January. “McLaren Greater Lansing and I, with my practice Advanced Cardiac & Vascular, are committed to keeping all patients with vascular problems in Lansing within the city of Lansing,” said Dr. Alam. “We are working to provide all treatment for vascular problems at McLaren Greater Lansing so that no one has to leave town for care.”