Ocala Health
January 29, 2020

OCALA, FL, – Ocala Regional Medical Center now offers a newer minimally invasive procedure, Trans Carotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR), to treat carotid artery disease and prevent future strokes in high surgical risk patients who need carotid artery treatment.

Carotid artery disease is a form of atherosclerosis, or an accumulation of plaque, in the two main arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain. Carotid artery disease, if left untreated, may ultimately result in the causation of a stroke or TIA (mini-stroke). It is estimated that 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke each year.

Prior to the development of TCAR, the main surgical treatment option for severe carotid disease was an open surgical procedure called a carotid endarterectomy, which removes the plaque from inside of the carotid artery to restore normal blood flow to the brain. However, the large incision leaves a visible scar the length of the neck and carries risk of surgical complications, including bleeding, infection, heart attack, etc.

With the new availability of Trans Carotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR), Ocala Regional Medical Center can now offer patients who are at high surgical risk, a minimally invasive treatment option. In contrast to traditional open carotid surgery, TCAR involves accessing the carotid artery through a small incision above the collarbone. The vascular surgeon then delivers a stent directly into the artery to restore blood flow to the brain. The benefits of TCAR are the reduced risk of stroke and other complications associated with traditional stenting or surgical methods. “The addition of the TCAR procedure at Ocala Regional Medical Center is just another example of our commitment to provide comprehensive treatment options for even the most complex and high risk patients suffering from vascular disease. TCAR is a less invasive and clinically proven alternative to surgery. The minimally invasive approach and unique flow reversal system allows us to achieve an equivalent result to open revascularization with less risk in the high risk patient population”, says Alberto Gonzalez, MD, Board Certified General and Vascular Surgeon at Ocala Health.

“In my practice, TCAR has shown to be truly beneficial to my patients. Through this minimally invasive procedure, patients recover faster and experience less complications than with traditional carotid surgery. Having this new technology available in Ocala allows patients to receive cutting edge care right here in own community”, says Ravi Chandra, MD, General and Vascular Surgeon at Ocala Health.

About Ocala Health

Ocala Health encompasses Ocala Regional Medical Center, a 256-bed facility located in the heart of Ocala, and West Marion Community Hospital, a 174-bed hospital located in west Marion County, Summerfield ER, a freestanding emergency department located in southern Marion County, and Maricamp ER, a freestanding emergency department located on Maricamp Road in Ocala. Ocala Regional Medical Center is a Level II Trauma Center and a Comprehensive Stroke Center. The hospitals offer a host of other quality and award winning services including orthopedic care and joint replacement, robotic surgery, cardiac and vascular services including open heart surgery and interventional procedures, emergency, neurological and rehabilitation services, and bariatric surgery. Ocala Health has the only Commission on Cancer approved cancer center in Marion County. Ocala Health’s outpatient facilities include Family Care Specialists, a primary care network of six locations throughout Marion County; Advanced Imaging Centers; a freestanding Wound and Hyperbaric Center; a Senior Wellness Community Center; and three surgical and physician specialty practices.

About HCA Healthcare North Florida Division

The HCA Healthcare North Florida Division is a comprehensive network of 14 hospitals, numerous outpatient surgery centers & imaging facilities, physician practices, medical education training programs and a complete continuum of specialized health programs and services that meet the healthcare needs of residents and businesses in the North Florida and Central Florida communities. HCA Healthcare North Florida physicians and employees continue to provide the quality foundation for delivering care to our patients safely, effectively and compassionately. Its hospitals are Joint Commission Accredited, with designations such as Accredited Chest Pain Centers, Primary Stroke Center Certification and four Level II Trauma Centers in Marion, Okaloosa, Osceola and Seminole county.