Carotid artery disease is a major cause of stroke. Maryville Vascular Surgeon Dr. J. Randolph Reisser is using a new, less-invasive technology called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) to treat carotid stenosis and reduce the possibility of stroke in patients with significant carotid stenosis.

Transfemoral carotid endarterectomy (CEA) repair carries a risk of stroke. Although TCAR also has risks, it is designed to help minimize that risk by keeping potential stroke causing fragments away from the brain.

With the TCAR procedure, the carotid artery is accessed through a small incision at the neckline just above the clavicle, instead of a long incision on the neck as in the open CEA repair. During the TCAR procedure, a tube inserted is nto the carotid artery and femoral vein and this system temporarily reverses directs blood flow away from the brain. This flow reversal helps to keep dangerous debris from reaching the brain during the procedure.

Surgeons, after establishing reversed flow, place a stent into the carotid artery to stabilize the plaque and prevent future strokes. The entire procedure is performed in half the time of an open carotid endarterectomy (CEA). The quicker surgery limits the stress on the heart and significantly cuts the risk of the patient having a stroke or heart attack during the procedure.

Dr. Reisser has performed more than 100 TCAR procedures on patients in East Tennessee.

“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,” explains Dr. Reisser. “Because of its lower stroke risk and faster patient recovery, I believe TCAR represents the future of carotid repair.”

Patients who undergo the TCAR procedure recover quickly (typically spending just one night in the hospital) and usually go home the next day to return to full and productive lives with less pain, smaller scars and a reduced risk of future strokes.

Statistically TCAR has the lowest stroke risk of all carotid interventions and may be recommended to treat carotid stenosis if a patient’s anatomy and plaque morphology are suitable.

About J. Randolph Reisser

Dr. Reisser is a vascular surgeon with Premier Surgical Associates. He has served patients in Blount County for more than 27 years. He has offices in Maryville, Knoxville, and Newport.

About Premier Surgical Associates

Premier Surgical Associates is the largest vascular surgery and general surgery practice in the East Tennessee region. Premier’s 30 board-certified surgeons perform general, vascular, endovascular, vein, bariatric, breast, laparoscopic and oncologic procedures. Premier has offices in Knoxville, Cleveland, Harriman, Jefferson City, Lenoir City, Newport, Maryville, Oak Ridge and Sevierville. For more information about Premier Surgical, please visit