Dr. Clint Atkinson

Dr. Clint Atkinson

Carotid Artery Disease (CAD) is one of the more common vascular diseases, with 427,000 new diagnoses made every year in the U.S. alone. CAD also happens to be the leading cause of strokes in the United States. Surgery has been successful in reducing the number of preventable strokes; however, surgery can be scary and is associated with pain.

Transcervical Carotid Stenting (TCAR) is a minimally invasive procedure that combines the benefits of surgery with the less invasive benefits of stents. This clinically-proven treatment has now been brought to the Sandhills by Dr. Clint Atkinson of FirstHealth Surgical Specialties Vascular and Vein at Pinehurst Surgical Clinic (PSC).

PSC’s vascular surgeons were among the first in the state to perform this procedure at a non-academic hospital. The TCAR is a minimally invasive, safe approach for high surgical risk patients who need carotid artery treatment. This surgery achieves a dramatic reduction in the risk of stroke in patients with blocked carotid arteries. The procedures have been performed locally for over one year with excellent outcomes.

“TCAR assists in treating carotid artery disease for high surgical risk patients at no increased risk of stroke, while being minimally invasive. This means less pain, faster recovery, and a much lower risk of nerve injury with TCAR,” Dr. Atkinson detailed.

The TCAR procedure is unique in that blood flow is temporarily reversed during the procedure, so any small bits of plaque that may break off are diverted away from the brain, significantly reducing the risk of stroke. A stent is then placed inside the artery to open the vessel.

“I consider this procedure an effective minimally invasive procedure that reduces the risk of stroke for some patients with CAD. Our Vascular surgeons are thrilled to offer this alternative treatment to patients in the region,” said Dr. Atkinson.

The vascular surgeons at Pinehurst Surgical Clinic continue to be a leader in vascular surgical care and helping to reduce patients stroke risk by offering new procedures and providing their patients with the best possible treatment options available to meet their specific needs and expectations.

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