Joseph J. Ricotta, MD, MS, DFSVS, FACS, National Medical Director for Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy for Tenet Healthcare recently completed his 200th Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) stroke prevention procedure at Delray Medical Center.
Dr. Joseph Ricotta was first in the State of Florida to perform the TCAR procedure in 2018. For patients diagnosed with carotid artery disease, the TCAR procedure is a minimally invasive approach compared with traditional surgical procedures such as carotid endarterectomy. The TCAR procedure is suited for patients who are at a higher risk of surgical complications due to age, medical co-morbidities, or anatomical issues.
In 2020, Dr. Ricotta received the national TCAR Clinical Operator of Experience distinction. Silk Road Medical, manufacturer of the TCAR device for patient procedures, awards select physicians throughout the country with this accolade who have demonstrated clinical excellence and superior quality outcomes using TCAR to treat patients with carotid artery disease.
“TCAR is a new treatment alternative for patients with carotid artery disease aimed to prevent a stroke. Carotid artery disease is the most common cause of stroke and usually occurs when plaque in the carotid artery breaks off and travels to the brain or impedes blood flow which can also cause a stroke,” said Dr. Ricotta.
During a TCAR procedure, Dr. Ricotta makes a small incision above the clavicle to access the carotid artery and insert a pliable sheath. The sheath links to a component temporarily reversing blood away from the brain in an effort to avert any plaque from traveling to the patient’s brain. With this reverse-flow neuroprotection in place, Dr. Ricotta performs balloon angioplasty and implants a stent inside of the carotid artery lesion to achieve long-term plaque stabilization and stroke prevention as well as open blood flow to the brain. Throughout the TCAR procedure, the blood filters removing any plaque or clot before returning to the body via an additional sheath in the femoral vein of the patient’s thigh. Once Dr. Ricotta places the stent in the artery to eliminate the plaque, the reversal flow mechanism switches and blood flows freely to the brain into its intended path free from stroke inducing plaque.
“If you compare TCAR to traditional carotid endarterectomy surgical treatment, TCAR carries a lower risk of stroke, heart attack, and death. TCAR is quicker than a traditional surgery with a shorter hospital stay (<24 hours) and less chance of bleeding, nerve injury, or re-intervention,” said Dr. Ricotta.
Dr. Ricotta performs the TCAR procedure in Delray Medical Center’s Endovascular Hybrid Operating Room Suite. At Dr. Ricotta’s Prime Vascular Institute medical practice in Delray Beach, a non-invasive Doppler ultrasound is available to diagnose a patient’s carotid artery disease.
Prime Vascular Institute is located at 4205 W. Atlantic Ave., Building B, Suite 201, Delray Beach, FL, 33445. For more information visit: PrimeVascular.com or call Dr. Ricotta’s office at 561-303-0013. In addition, Dr. Ricotta is on-staff at Delray Medical Center.