New clogged artery procedure at NJ hospital has lower risk of stroke. One recipient shares his story.

Strokes are among the top five leading causes of death for adult men and women. If you know the warning signs and who is at the most risk, the chances of suffering a debilitating episode can be reduced.

News 12 Staff

Jun 2, 2022, 12:03 PM

Updated 743 days ago

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Strokes are among the top five leading causes of death for adult men and women. If you know the warning signs and who is at the most risk, the chances of suffering a debilitating episode can be reduced.  
May was National Stroke Awareness Month. News 12 spoke with a vascular surgeon who performs what's known as a TCAR procedure.
Dr. Vikalp Jain is one of around 200 surgeons in the United States currently trained in a new procedure called a TCAR. TCAR is a relatively new type of carotid artery surgery in which a small incision is made in the base of the neck. A pump is inserted to reverse the blood flow to the brain. The artery is then cleared of plaque buildup, with a much-reduced risk of stroke during the procedure. A stent is then placed inside the artery, preventing future strokes.  
“I realized I had a blocked artery and high blood pressure. They really did a great job taking care of me,” says Tom Stills.
Jain performed the surgery on 83-year-old Tom Stills last September after a health checkup from his cardiologist revealed a clogged artery.  
Signs of an impending stroke include feeling off-balance, loss of eye control, sudden arm and leg weakness, drooping face and slurred speech.  
“He was seen by his cardiologist who noticed he had a couple of episodes of slurred speech and some abnormalities in his face,” says Jain. “That happened two times. Fortunately, he didn’t have a stroke at that time. He had what we call TIAs.”
Following the hourlong procedure, Stills immediately felt better.  
“My ability to move around, and I was filled with more energy when I was done with the procedure,” says Stills. “Everything just changed.”
Jain says those over 50 who are at high risk for stroke and those with diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and former tobacco users should be screened.  


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