Limb salvage procedures dramatically reduce the need for leg amputations in patients suffering from peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a condition common among diabetics as well as many older Americans with vascular risk factors including hypertension and elevated cholesterol.
Patients with PAD often experience severe problems in the affected leg. Symptoms include cramping, a "Charlie-horse" cramping sensation, or sleep interrupted by leg pain. In the worst cases, foot ulcers or bluish discoloration may occur, and may be a sign of early gangrene. In these cases, limb salvage procedures may offer dramatic improvements over surgical options to restore blood flow to the foot and prevent gangrene.
"Limb salvage procedures can often be performed on an outpatient basis, and not only have the potential to save the leg but also improve the patient's overall health and quality of life," said Dr. John Rundback, director of the Interventional Institute at Holy Name Medical Center.
After numbing a site in the groin, the radiologist makes a small incision through which he or she inserts a wire through the artery to the point where the blockage in the leg can be visualized. A myriad of tools are available to remove the blockage, including tiny balloons that stretch open the artery stents, devices which extract plaque, lasers and stents to prop open blocked arteries.
"Minimally invasive Interventional Radiology techniques are a dramatic departure from the very complex surgical procedures performed in the past," said Dr. Rundback. "There are so many more techniques that Interventional Radiologists can use today than we had even five years ago. Without treatment, the patient would face amputation."
To make an appointment, call the Interventional Institute at Holy Name Medical Center:
- Phone: 201-833-7268
- Fax: 201-643-3077