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McLaren Macomb surgeon one of four in Michigan performing TCAR stroke management procedure

Published on Wednesday, October 04, 2017
Dr. Joseph Cuppari

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich.—Dr. Joseph Cuppari, a general and vascular surgeon at McLaren Macomb, is one of four surgeons in the state to employ a groundbreaking procedure to treat stroke-causing blockages in the vital carotid artery. TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) is a minimally invasive procedure that provides additional protection by reversing blood flow away from the brain while clearing the blocked artery.

Carotid artery disease—a narrowing of the carotid artery through the build-up of plaque—increases the chance of stroke, making it vital to maintain proper blood flow. During a revascularization procedure to re-open the clogged artery carrying blood to the brain, embolic debris—fragments of loosened plaque—can also travel to the brain, potentially causing stroke or impact other cognitive functions.

Utilizing technology provided by the TCAR device, blood flow is reversed—flowing away from the brain rather than into it, also carrying embolic debris away from the brain to be captured by a filter.

Dr. Cuppari is one of four surgeons in Michigan—and one of 100 nationwide—proficient in, and trained to use, TCAR and the only surgeon in Macomb County.

“This is a big step for stroke management in that the upfront treatment of carotid artery disease will significantly decrease a patient’s risk for stroke,” Dr. Cuppari said. “This minimally invasive procedure provides additional safeguards against stroke by reversing blood flow to further protect the brain, leaving the patient with an enhanced clinical outcome and improved quality of life.”

Carotid artery disease (also known as carotid stenosis) can be caused by smoking and high cholesterol. Many patients do not experience symptoms, but symptoms can mirror those of a stroke, including transient ischemic attacks (“mini-strokes”), temporary loss of vision in one eye, sudden, severe headaches and numbness in the face.

The fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States, 795,000 people suffer a stroke each year, yet 80 percent are preventable. On average, there is one stroke every 40 seconds. McLaren Macomb, part of the McLaren Stroke Network, provides 24/7 initial evaluations by the interventional neurologists for all suspected-stroke patients.

McLaren Macomb earned The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke.

To learn more about the stroke program at McLaren Macomb, visit mclaren.org/macombstroke.

About McLaren Macomb
In January 2012, Mount Clemens Regional Medical Center became McLaren Macomb.

McLaren Macomb is a 288-bed acute care hospital located in Mount Clemens, Mich. More than 400 physicians and nearly 2,000 employees work at McLaren Macomb making it one of Macomb County’s top employers. McLaren Macomb provides a full range of services, including cancer and cardiovascular care. As Macomb County’s first verified trauma center, the hospital operates the busiest emergency department in Macomb County and is also an accredited chest pain center. McLaren Macomb has a rich history of providing high quality, compassionate health care and holds a strong position in the community it serves. To learn more, visit mclaren.org/macomb or visit our blog at mclaren.org/macombblog.

About McLaren Health Care
McLaren Health Care, headquartered in Flint, Michigan, is a fully integrated health network committed to quality evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system includes 12 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, the state’s only proton therapy center, an employed primary care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering more than 250,000 lives, home health and hospice providers, retail medical equipment showrooms, pharmacy services, and a wholly owned medical malpractice insurance company. McLaren operates Michigan’s largest network of cancer centers and providers, anchored by Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of only two National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the state. McLaren has 21,000 employees and more than 25,000 network providers. Its operations are housed in more than 300 facilities serving a 54-county market and 75 percent of Michigan’s population. Learn more at mclaren.org.