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Orangeburg surgeon treats carotid artery disease with new technique
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Orangeburg surgeon treats carotid artery disease with new technique

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Dion Franga, MD FACS is among the first surgeons in South Carolina to treat carotid artery disease and prevent future strokes using a new procedure called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR).

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TCAR is a clinically proven, minimally invasive and safe approach for high surgical risk patients who need carotid artery treatment. The first patients have been successfully treated at Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg under Franga’s direction with more procedures planned

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Carotid artery disease is a form of atherosclerosis, or a buildup 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; it is estimated to be the source of stroke in up to a third of cases, with 427,000 new diagnoses of the disease made every year in the U.S. alone.

“TCAR is an important new option in the fight against stroke, and is particularly suited for the large portion of patients we see who are at higher risk of complications from carotid surgery due to age, anatomy, or other medical conditions,” Franga said. “Because of its low stroke risk and faster patient recovery, I believe TCAR represents the future of carotid repair.”

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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, but the large incision leaves a visible scar the length of the neck and carries risks of surgical complications, including bleeding, infection, heart attack and cranial nerve injuries that can cause issues with swallowing, speaking and sensation in the face.

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The TCAR procedure was developed by Sunnyvale, California-based Silk Road Medical Inc. and includes the ENROUTE Transcarotid Neuroprotection (NPS) and Stent System – the first devices designed and FDA-approved specifically for TCAR. Over 10,000 TCAR procedures have been performed worldwide through clinical trial and commercial use. TCAR has been studied extensively, and the clinical data have been excellent. Additional information about TCAR is available at http://silkroadmed.com/disease-and-treatment-options/.

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