This week PVMC became the first hospital in Colorado, and one of the first in the nation, to offer a new minimally-invasive procedure to treat peripheral artery disease (PAD) in the upper leg, a serious and common condition associated with an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
The procedure was performed by Interventional Cardiologist Qaisar Khan, M.D. in our Cath Lab on February 3. Dr. Khan used a drug-coated balloon, which was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to treat advanced PAD in the upper leg of one of our patients.
Although it affects an estimated eight to 12 million people in the U.S., only 25% of adults are aware of the disease and how dangerous it can be. PAD is a debilitating disease that occurs when arteries become narrowed or blocked by plaque build-up, restricting blood flow. PAD commonly affects arteries in the upper legs and can cause recurrent and painful muscle cramping in the thigh and/or upper calf. The pain can be described as dull, causing heaviness or tightness in the muscles, but often will stop when the person is at rest. Experiencing pain, even while at rest or while sleeping, is a sign of a more severe disease. If not properly treated, PAD can lead to life-threatening complications, and is associated with a four-to-five times higher risk for heart attack or stroke.
Drug-coated balloons are designed to help restore blood flow by reopening blocked arteries and delivering a medication to the artery wall that clinical studies have shown helps keep the artery open longer than other available therapies. During the procedure, an inflated balloon pushes the plaque away to create a channel for blood flow and the medication on the balloon surface is absorbed into the artery wall. The balloon is then removed with only the medication left behind.
“The industry has made strides in treating heart blockages, but drug coated balloons promise to be the next big thing in treating complex PAD,” explains Dr. Khan. “The data from clinical trial is very promising as it reduces the need for repeat intervention from 20% to around 2% at one year.
“At Platte Valley Medical Center, we embrace and adapt to the latest technology very quickly,” he continues. “We were the first in the state of Colorado to implant a cardiac rhythm monitor and now are the first in the state to use the drug eluting balloon to help our community.”
PVMC has chosen to use the IN.PACT Admiral drug-coated balloon by Medtronic because it has demonstrated the best results observed to date in the treatment of PAD in the upper legs. In particular, studies have shown treatment with the IN.PACT Admiral drug-coated balloon reduces the need to have a similar repeat procedure within the next year, which is more common with other types of interventional procedures for the treatment of the condition.
To learn more about PAD, RSVP now for our upcoming seminar entitled Listen to Your Legs on Tuesday, February 17, at 6 p.m. in the Conference Center.