Stroke, also referred to as a “brain attack,” occurs when a blood vessel breaks or a blood clot blocks an artery, interrupting blood supply to the brain.

Both Piedmont Atlanta Hospital and Piedmont Athens Regional perform a procedure, TransCarotid Artery Revascularization, which lowers the risk of stroke in patients with carotid artery disease. The two hospitals have been named Centers of Excellence by SilkRoad Medical, the developers of this procedure.

TCAR is a minimally invasive procedure that temporarily diverts blood flow from the brain to prevent plaque fragments from dislodging and causing a blockage. Surgeons then filter the blood before returning it to a vein in the groin, and a stent is implanted directly into the carotid artery to stabilize the plaque and prevent future strokes.

“Keeping our patients safe is our top priority and the TCAR procedure helps us do that,” said Charlie Brown, M.D, CEO of Piedmont Physicians. “The procedure lasts half as long as the traditional surgery, which limits stress on the heart and reduces the risk of a heart attack or stroke occurring during the procedure.”

Patients who undergo the TCAR procedure have a brief hospital stay, often only one night, and recover quickly. The small incision also leads to less pain and a smaller scar.

“We’re proud of our hospitals that were named a Center of Excellence for this procedure,” said Dr. Brown. “It is a safe and efficient procedure for our surgeons to perform and it leads to better outcomes for our patients.”

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