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Fighting Back Against PVD

In order to help patients maintain optimal health, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is making great strides in the prevention and treatment of peripheral vascular disease (PVD).

According to the American Heart Association, PVD includes a number of diseases of the blood vessels outside the heart and brain that cause the vessels to narrow, restricting blood flow to various parts of the body. One of the most serious forms of this condition is called peripheral artery disease (PAD). This disease is caused by the buildup of fatty deposits in artery walls that hinder blood flow to organs and limbs and often cause debilitating pain. If left untreated, many types of PAD can lead to serious health risks, including heart attack, stroke and even amputation.

At Texas Health Dallas, patients will find some of the most advanced, minimally invasive treatments for PAD provided by cardiologists and vascular surgeons on the medical staff at
the hospital.

“Treatment options for PAD have greatly progressed,” says James B. Park, M.D., F.A.C.C., interventional cardiologist on the medical staff and medical director of the cardiac catheterization lab at Texas Health Dallas. “One of the most exciting advancements has been the development of self-expanding stents, which expand without the use of a balloon and hold open arteries to improve blood flow. These tend to yield better outcomes than stents of the past.”

Cardiologists on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas were among the first in the area to perform carotid artery stenting, in which a mesh tube is placed in an artery in the neck to hold it open and allow blood to flow freely.

To remove plaque in arteries, physicians now often turn to the new Diamondback 360oTM Orbital Atherectomy System, a handheld device that uses a rotating crown studded with diamond chips to sand away obstructions.

“Plaque is tough to work on, and while stents can hold arteries open, they can’t get rid of plaque,” Park says. “Diamondback technology actually helps us treat the source of
the problem and is used mainly in diabetic patients for the small arteries that go to the feet. Cardiologists on the medical staff at Texas Health Dallas use the Diamondback in more cases below the knee than any other facility in the country.”

To learn more about heart and vascular treatments at Texas Health Dallas, visit TexasHealth.org. (Spring 2009)

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