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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Minimally Invasive Procedure Saves Limbs and Lives for Those Suffering From Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral Artery Disease(PAD) is the hardening or narrowing of the arteries in the leg caused by fatty deposits or calcium which accumulate in the blood vessels of the buttocks, legs, and feet blocking normal blood flow.

Early signs of PAD can include pain to the hips, legs, and feet during normal activities such as walking. When PAD advances, it can lead to Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI) which includes leg pain at rest, wounds that are slow to heal, and gangrene. This puts a patient at risk for amputation. Depending on the severity of PAD, it can be treated through lifestyle changes, medication, or minimally invasive procedures such as an atherectomy.

An atherectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that utilizes a catheter with a sharp blade on the end to remove plaque from a blood vessel. The catheter is inserted into the artery through a small puncture in the artery and is navigated under x-ray guidance. It is designed to pulverize the plaque and sands it into tiny particles that are washed away with the patient’s blood flow. By restoring blood flow in the legs, a significant outcome can be achieved for most patients. Interventional radiologists have been using minimally invasive atherectomy procedures for the treatment of PAD for several years, however the technology continues to improve allowing doctors to treat many more people. Atherectomy has been a breakthrough in the treatment of PAD and has proven to improve a patient’s quality of life by alleviating pain, enhancing mobility, re-establishing blood flow to non-healing wounds and reducing the number of amputations.

If you have been diagnosed with PAD there are many treatments that can help you regain your quality of life. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. William Julien or Dr. Warren Swee.

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