McLeod Health celebrates 500th TCAR Procedure

The McLeod Health Vascular Team who performs the TCAR procedure. (Left to right): Dr. Carmen Piccolo, Dr. Eva M. Rzucidlo, Dr. Christopher G. Cunningham, Dr. William C. Jackson, and Dr. Leia Edenfeld. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Stroke, a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the US ranks as the fifth cause of death in South Carolina. To decrease the risk of stroke for patients who may not be a candidate for other stroke treatments, McLeod Health offers a minimally invasive procedure to treat carotid artery disease. 

On July 11, 2023, McLeod Health Vascular Surgeons performed the 500th TCAR (Transcarotid Arterial Revascularization). 

McLeod Health Vascular Surgeons: Dr. Christopher Cunningham, Dr. Eva Rzucidlo, Dr. Carmen Piccolo,         Dr. William Jackson, and Dr. Leia Edenfield perform the TCAR procedure at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, SC and McLeod Health Seacoast in Little River, SC when a patient is high-risk for carotid endarterectomy. 

Carotid endarterectomy, a procedure to treat carotid artery disease is performed by the Vascular Surgeons with McLeod Vascular Associates. This condition is when the carotid arteries in the neck become blocked by plaque and surgery is needed to remove the blockage. 

“Our vascular team provides exceptional care. It’s a great feeling knowing our team performed 500 procedures that offered our patients less recovery time and less pain,” said Dr. Alan Blaker, Executive Medical Director of the McLeod Heart and Vascular Institute.  “My partners and I are pleased to be a part of the healthcare system that cares about staying abreast of cutting-edge technology to offer our patients the best in stroke and vascular care.”

McLeod Health vascular surgeons were the first in South Carolina to complete the FDA training for TCAR. 

Candidates for TCAR are patients who have a tight narrowing of the artery to their brain or who have had a previous stroke. TCAR is also a more viable option for patients who have medical conditions that would prohibit them from undergoing an open procedure like the carotid endarterectomy. 

Author: Stephan Drew

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