At the supermarket, the question can be "Paper or plastic?" Increasingly, when surgeons at Deborah Heart and Lung Center consider a stent to keep a leg artery open to treat peripheral artery disease , they ponder "Metal or bio-absorbable?" And that's if they've determined a stent is needed at all, after clearing artery blockages with sophisticated atherectomy tools and stretching them with drug-coated balloons to prevent re-narrowing from an overgrowth of scar tissue.
Deborah offers some of the most advanced treatments in the hands of the most skilled practitioners in the country to treat peripheral artery disease, or PAD – a condition that remains underdiagnosed, undertreated, and on the rise.
This narrowing of the arteries is commonly found in the legs, where it can cause pain on walking but be dismissed as something less dire, such as arthritis or a pulled muscle. Deborah Division Director of Interventional Cardiology Dr. Richard Kovach estimates there may be as many as 17 million Americans living with PAD, only 10% of them diagnosed. Of that fraction, Dr. Kovach says only about half are getting treatment: a serious two-pronged problem, as people with PAD are at much higher risk of heart attack or stroke and untreated PAD can lead to gangrene or amputation.
Rasa Kaye talked with Dr. Kovach at Deborah about the risk factors, symptoms and precision treatments for PAD, and about Deborah's upcoming PAD Fair and Screening Event on September 24, 2016 at its Burlington County location. Patients should register for a free screening and consultation at the event at Deborah.org or call the PAD Screening Event Hotline at 609-621-2080.
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