A local hospital now offers less invasive heart surgery and reverses the blood in the body

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– A procedure to safely treat carotid artery disease is currently being performed at a local hospital. Dr. Ankur Lodha with the Southern Cardiovascular Institute says there are two ways to treat this heart condition. The procedure he proposes is preferred to the other.

Carotid artery disease is the diagnosis of blocked arteries in the heart. These blockages can cause strokes.

The standard procedure for treating carotid artery disease is called CEA. EC involves an incision made above the collarbone, exposing the artery to remove plaque buildup caused by the disease. Dr. Lodha says that this procedure leaves a very visible scar on the neck and carries a risk of surgical complications.

To decrease the risk of complications and less scarring, Dr. Lodha recommends transcarotid artery revascularization, commonly known as TCAR. In addition to its less invasive approach, the TCAR procedure is more advanced. During the procedure, the patient’s blood flow is temporarily reversed to ensure that no plaque reaches the brain.

Although the blood reversal may seem concerning, Dr Lodha assured News 10 that there is nothing to worry about.

“It’s not harmful to the brain because we have other arteries working as well. It only reverses for 5-10 minutes, which is not harmful,” he said.

After the reversal, a stent is placed inside the artery to stabilize the plaque. Not only is there a smaller scar, but TCAR is found to have the lowest stroke risk of any clinically proven trial.