Peripheral vascular disease affects around 10 million Americans, causing pain due to clogged arteries that carry blood to the arms or legs. Some even end up having their limbs amputated. Now, a new device may improve the quality of life for all patients with PVD.
Walking wasn't always this easy for Edith McAdams. She says, "I just couldn't hardly drag myself out there. I could only take two or three steps at a time before I had to stop to rest."
McAdams looked and felt good, but even ordinary tasks were difficult -- so difficult, she could only vacuum sitting down. Fed up, she went to peripheral vascular surgeon Jim Melton at Oklahoma Heart Hospital in Oklahoma City, who had a solution.
For McAdams, help came from an outpatient procedure using a new device. The "Silver Hawk Plaque Excision System" acts like a lawnmower by cutting the plaque and getting rid of it.
Melton says, "It has a very fast-turning blade on one side, whichever way you turn it, and it just shaves the plaque, and the plaque is caught in a nose cone at the end of the device. We're able to get across or repair paths of total occlusions, or 100 percent blockages, a lot more frequently than we were without the device."
Doctors add that since the procedure is done non-surgically, there is significantly less risk to the patient.
The device was approved by the F-D-A in June. More than 3,000 patients have benefited from the new technology. It's not being used by any South Mississippi doctors yet, but the manufacturer of the device expects it to be available here soon.