April 13, 2012
Minimally Invasive Procedure for Peripheral Artery Disease
Salem, VA, April 13, 2012 – LewisGale Medical Center is now offering its patients Remote Endarterectomy, a minimally invasive option for treating peripheral artery disease (PAD), a common circulatory problem. LewisGale Physician, Hans Brings, M.D., performed the first Remote Endarterectomy in the Roanoke Valley late last year.
Peripheral artery disease occurs when atherosclerotic plaque builds up in the arteries of the legs and reduces blood flow. Symptoms are often subtle at first, but can include leg cramps while walking or exercising, pain, numbness or a cold sensation in the feet. In severe cases, the lower legs and feet may develop constant pain, non-healing sores, or even gangrene.
For many patients, blocked arteries can be opened with balloons and stents. Catheter based treatment commonly known as athrectomy, where plaque is shaved or chipped away to open up a vessel, is also an option for some patients. However, in more severe cases when wires and catheters are unable to be used, a bypass operation may be necessary which involves multiple, sometimes long, leg incisions. Remote Endarterectomy provides Dr. Brings and his patients an additional alternative.
“In certain patients, a Remote Endarterectomy is a good, minimally invasive option for restoring circulation when blood vessels are too blocked to treat with balloons, stents and wire or catheter based options,” said Brings, a board-certified vascular surgeon. “It’s also less invasive than a bypass operation.”
Remote Endarterectomy encompasses techniques from both open surgical and endovascular treatment options. The procedure is performed through a single incision in the groin where special instruments are used to go into the artery and remove long segments of plaque. On his first patient, Dr. Brings was able to successfully take out a 10-inch long plaque core from a completely blocked artery in the leg.
“Compared to a bypass operation, the patient has less pain, shorter hospitalization, and a faster recuperation period,” said Brings. “This leads to increased patient satisfaction.”
Patients interested in learning more about this treatment option can call Dr. Brings at 540-776-2010.
About LewisGale Medical Center
LewisGale Medical Center is a part of LewisGale Regional Health System which includes 38 HCA-owned patient care facilities including 4 hospitals, 2 regional cancer centers, 6 outpatient centers and affiliations with nearly 700 physicians, including 135 employed providers and 550 independent physicians. With 3100 employees, its annual payroll is $220.5 million. The system also paid $33 million in taxes and provided more than $86 million in uncompensated care to those most in need in 2010 alone. LewisGale is also part of HCA Virginia, the largest and most comprehensive healthcare provider in the Commonwealth with more than 13,000 employees. For more information see www.lewisgale.com.