December 1, 2020
Dr. Joseph J. Ricotta MD, MS, DFSVS, FACS, National Medical Director of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy for Tenet Healthcare, Chairman of Vascular Surgery Department at Delray Medical Center and Professor of Surgery and Program Director of the Vascular Surgery fellowship at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University has been recognized as a 2020 TCAR Clinical Operator of Experience for improving carotid artery disease treatment using an innovative procedure called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR).
Delray Medical Center performed the first TCAR procedure in South Florida and the hospital has performed over 160 TCAR procedures, which is the most in the state of Florida.
This honor is awarded by Silk Road Medical
which manufactures the TCAR device for patient procedures and is given to select physicians throughout the country who have demonstrated clinical excellence and superior quality outcomes using TCAR to treat patients with carotid artery disease. TCAR is a proven, minimally invasive and safe approach for high surgical risk patients to reduce their risk of stroke.
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 a stroke.
“I am humbled and honored to be named as a Clinical Operator of Experience for improving treatment outcomes of carotid artery disease using the TCAR procedure”, said Dr. Joseph J. Ricotta of Delray Medical Center. “TCAR is an important new option in the fight against stroke and is particularly suited for the large patient population we care for who are at higher risk of complications from carotid surgery due to age, anatomy, or other medical conditions. This honor adds to the stellar reputation that Delray Medical Center already enjoys for treating patients with carotid disease and stroke having been selected as a “TCAR National Center of Excellence” every year since 2018, the only one of its kind in South Florida.”
Carotid artery disease is estimated to be the source of stroke in up to a third of cases, with more than 427,000 new diagnoses of the disease made every year in the U.S. alone. TCAR developer, Silk Road Medical, reviewed physician operators across the country to recognize those that have embraced the TCAR procedure and have demonstrated a focus on patient outcomes through the appropriate patient selection and a well-trained and credentialed vascular specialist team.
“At Delray Medical Center, we are committed to offering patients access to many of the latest vascular treatments, including procedures like TCAR, and we congratulate Dr. Ricotta on this notable achievement,” said Maggie Gill, chief executive officer at the Palm Beach Health Network and Delray Medical Center. “This recognition demonstrates our collective commitment to delivering the highest quality of care to our patients. We have taken the necessary steps to deliver care in a safe and secure environment, and our community can rest assured that we have the appropriate supplies and protocols in place.”
TCAR is unique in that blood flow is temporarily reversed during the procedure so that any small bits of plaque that may break off during the procedure 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.
Patients recover quickly and can go home the next day to return to full and productive lives with less pain and small scars. Prior to the development of 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.