Carotid artery disease occurs when the carotid arteries in your neck get blocked by a substance called plaque. Over time, the plaque can cause the artery to narrow, putting you at risk for a stroke. In fact, one-third of strokes originate in the carotid arteries. For patients who are at high risk for surgery, due to age or other medical conditions, Houston Methodist Baytown offers a less invasive procedure called transcarotid artery revascularization or TCAR where a stent is placed in the carotid. 


The procedure is performed by Dr. Jacobo Nurko, who recently completed his 50th TCAR procedure. "To be able to offer this treatment is another testament to Houston Methodist Baytown’s reputation for excellent stroke care and intervention, and I am thrilled we have successfully helped 50 patients so far,” said Dr. Nurko.


Every year, 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke. Five million die and another 5 million are left with permanent disabilities. TCAR is a good option for people who have a higher risk of complications from surgery due to age or other health issues. According to Dr. Nurko, “There are positive benefits to patients who get treatment for carotid artery disease, including a reduced risk for stroke.”


The procedure is done with a small incision just above the collarbone. A small tube or catheter is inserted into the carotid artery and is attached to a filtering system that directs blood flow away from the brain. This protects against any debris from the procedure reaching the brain and causing a stroke. A stent is placed directly into the carotid artery to open it to keep the plaque from moving, preventing future strokes. “The procedure takes about 45 minutes and is performed under local anesthesia. Most patients go home the next day with limited restrictions on their activities,” said Dr. Nurko.


For more information on the full range services offered at Houston Methodist Baytown and to schedule an appointment, visit or call 281-428-2273.