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Unique Procedure by Texas Health Dallas Cardiologist Could Provide Hope To Millions
05/26/2009

DALLAS — Interventional cardiac catheterization procedures are one of the most effective treatments for peripheral vascular disease (PVD), a looming health crisis as the U.S. population ages and more Americans battle obesity. PVD causes blockages of the femoral and tibial arteries, which supply blood to the lower limbs. The condition causes lower-leg tissue damage, non-healing wounds, blood clots and limb loss.

Rare Cardiac Procedure Performed Live for International Audience
Dr. Banerjee (left) and Dr. Das perform the "TUG" procedure.
Click image to see more photos

While less invasive than traditional open surgery, these interventional catheterization procedures are not an option for millions of Americans with PVD who also have kidney problems or allergies to the contrast dye used during the procedures.

As a possible new treatment for these patients, Dr. Tony Das, an interventional cardiologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, recently demonstrated a unique procedure that clears femoral artery blockages without the use of contrast dye or X-ray radiation.

“We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to better care for patients with this debilitating condition,” Das said. “This procedure could one day be something we offer people who are not suitable candidates for other interventional procedures.”

The unique procedure, called TUG (transcutaneous ultrasound guided vascular intervention), was performed at Texas Health Dallas and broadcast live in high-definition to an international audience of cardiologists at the 2009 Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology in Florida. Das used an ultrasound device on top of the patient's skin to produce images of the arteries and guide the tiny wire that travels inside the arteries to clear the blockage. A balloon on the end of the wire was inflated to open the artery and a stent placed in the artery to keep it open.

The patient was a 52-year-old man with a history of PVD, including severe blockages in his leg arteries. Additional problems caused by PVD made the use of dye potentially harmful to his kidneys. The TUG procedure is available to other patients of Das who meet the proper criteria.

Das, assisted by Dr. Subhash Banerjee of the Dallas VA Medical Center, demonstrated the technique as a way to teach cardiologists, vascular surgeons and radiologists around the world about the latest advances in clinical care for PVD.

“With the prevalence of diabetes and obesity among an already aging population, the challenges facing those involved in the diagnosis and treatment of peripheral vascular disease increase by the minute,” Das said. “It’s a problem that will increasingly challenge medical experts around the country in coming years.”

Rare Cardiac Procedure Performed Live for International Audience
Dr. Das maps out his plan for clearing the blocked artery.
Click image to see more photos

PVD is a common condition affecting more than 10 million adults in the United States. The condition is a disease of blood vessels outside the heart and brain characterized by a narrowing of vessels that carry blood to the legs, arms, stomach and kidneys.

Texas Health Dallas was the only medical center in Texas to participate in the prestigious conference. Other medical centers participating in the conference included the Mayo Clinic, Cedars-Sinai and Columbia University Medical Center.

“Currently, PVD patients with kidney problems or allergies to contrast dye can only be treated with medications or open surgery, which carries a higher risk for complications,” said Jon Gardner, administrative director of the Heart and Vascular department at Texas Health Dallas. “Innovative new procedures like Dr. Das’ technique could provide hope to these patients.”

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is an 866-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, having provided compassionate care to the residents of Dallas and surrounding communities since 1966. U.S. News and World Report has ranked Texas Health Dallas among the nation’s best hospitals in digestive disorders, orthopedics, and neurology and neurosurgery. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Dallas has approximately 4,000 employees and an active medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Dallas.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 14 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

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