Annual Advancements in Medicine Section
From minimally invasive surgical technologies to innovative appproaches to rehabiliation and beyond, new research in the medical field is optimizing care for patients and doctors alike. Read on to discover the latest in revolutionary treatment options.
Thanks to advanced arterial procedures, the risk of developing critical limb ischemia can be reduced.
Understanding Critical Limb Ischemia
Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is the advanced form of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which occurs when plaque builds up in the blood vessels and arteries and reduces blood flow. This blockage limits the necessary transfer of oxygen and nutrients needed to keep tissues alive, and if left untreated, can lead to limb loss. Symptoms of PAD include pain or numbness in the legs, open sores, and weakness with walking.
Advancements in arterial procedures and intravenous technology are making strides in the treatment of PAD and prevention of CLI. One of these procedures is an atherectomy, where a catheter is inserted into the artery to remove plaque from its walls and clear a path for blood flow. Healthcare providers in the United States perform this common procedure around 190,000 times annually.
What to Expect
During an atherectomy you will receive local anesthesia before your vascular provider inserts a special catheter into the affected artery. Once positioned at the blockage, the catheter will then remove the plaque buildup using a blade or laser. This minimally invasive procedure can be performed in an outpatient setting.
Benefits to Patients
Procedures such as an atherectomy have been instrumental in reducing patients’ risk of CLI and limb loss. Your vascular professional can advise you on the best treatment plan for PAD and help you achieve a better quality of life.