One in every six people will suffer a stroke, but approximately 80 per cent of these cases can be prevented, according to the director of the Angiology and Vascular Surgery department of the Quirónsalud Marbella hospital and Quirónsalud clinic in Gibraltar, Rubén Rodríguez Carvajal.
“It is very important that the high-risk patients (those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes) rule out the possibility of having a cerebrovascular accident by having an ultrasound,” the expert explained.
The condition, which affects 15 million people in the world every year, happens one in three times because of an obstruction in the carotid artery. There are three types of treatment for a stroke. Of these Doctor Rodríguez Carvajal singles out the Transcarotid Artery Revascularisation procedure (TCAR) due to “having more advantages than the other two. It is the safest and newest technique of treatment for this condition”.
According to the specialist, the TCAR is a clinically proven alternative to invasive open surgery, the normal treatment for a stroke, and safer than transfemoral stenting. The procedure, which can be done with a local anaesthetic, involves a small incision just above the collar bone. The surgeon inserts a tube directly into the carotid artery and connects it to a system which temporarily directs the blood flow away from the brain to protect from the dangerous deposits which can be released from the artery walls.
“This method of protecting the brain is the key to the success of the TCAR procedure and what sets it apart from the other treatments. Also, the TCAR has the lowest number of cerebrovascular accidents related to the procedure (1.4 per cent of procedures have experienced trouble), according to the most recent clinical studies,” commented the doctor.