Wheeling Hospital has become the first in the Ohio Valley region to perform a new surgical procedure for artery disease.
The new technology is designed to help with peripheral artery disease in the upper leg, which can be linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Dr. John Klay is the cardiac surgeon who began using the surgical procedure earlier this week. He said the artery is cleaned out with a device then treated with a drug coated balloon. “The purpose of the drug-alluding balloon is to prevent the blockage from coming back, and to also, if possible avoid the need for a stent,” he said.
The technology was approved in January. Peripheral artery disease affects an estimated 8 to 12 million people in the United States and occurs when arteries become narrowed or blocked by plaque buildup, which restricts blood flow.
It commonly affects arteries in the upper legs. It gives patients a dull pain, causing a heaviness or tightness in the muscles, but often stops if a person is at rest.
The drug-coated balloons are designed to help restore blood flow and re-open blocked arteries and delivering a medication to the wall of the arteries, to keep them open longer than other therapies available. In rare cases, a stent may be required to keep the artery open.
It also reduces the need to have a similar repeat procedure within the next year.
Dr. Klay says this new procedure will also add to the long-term care of the patient. He added some patients even wake up from the procedure saying their leg pain is gone.