By Erika Z. Byrd
Plaque. That substance that narrows arteries and can lead to heart attack and stroke can also build up in peripheral arteries and cause poor circulation in your legs. If the blockage becomes severe, it can create all sorts of problems including infections, pain with walking, numbness in the legs, and even loss of a limb.
One in 20 Americans over the age of 50 has peripheral arterial disease, also known as P.A.D. While some people have symptoms of cramping or difficulty walking, many have no symptoms at all until it's too late. Besides age, other risk factors for P.A.D. include smoking or a history of smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, a family history of vascular, heart disease or stroke, and African-American ethnicity.
In January, JFK Memorial Hospital opened a new interventional angiography suite with the latest technology to perform interventional vascular and endovascular procedures. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016, the hospital is continuing to elevate its level of care. Two board-certified, fellowship-trained vascular surgeons — Dr. Pushpinder Sivia and Dr. Son Ha Yu — are developing the endovascular program, which includes the latest techniques to treat P.A.D. The new suite also will also be used by staff interventional radiologists for additional procedures.
"We are really glad to provide minimally invasive vascular services in Indio," says Dr. Yu. "The goal is to save limbs. It will be a huge boost to the East Valley population. We will be able to help a lot of people."
In addition to the new suite, the hospital also purchased a new device, that allows the vascular surgeons to treat P.A.D. with atherectomy, which removes plaque from the arterial wall to restore the blood flow, instead of pushing it against the arterial wall as angioplasty does.
Dr. Sivia, who has been performing this procedure for more than six years, explained that it is done on a catheter platform. "It's a new device that is inserted over a guide wire into the artery vessel itself. It contains a miniaturized rotating blade that can shave off the plaque and capture it in an attached collection unit, which is part of the device."
Atherectomy is done as an outpatient procedure. The patient receives a localized injection of lidocaine and an injection of contrast dye that helps the surgeon locate the blockage and treat it under fluoroscopy X-ray guidance.
"We use a closure device and after two to four hours of lying flat, the patient is discharged and allowed to resume their regular activities," says Dr. Sivia.
Other procedures Dr. Sivia and Dr. Yu perform include treatment of P.A.D. via angioplasty and stent placement — depending on the patient, varicose vein ablation, wound care, carotid endarterectomy — removal of plaque in the carotid artery to prevent stroke, and fistula surgery so that a dialysis patient can receive dialysis in their arm instead of the neck.
Diagnostic screening is available for those with P.A.D. risk factors. To schedule a screening appointment or for more information about the new endovascular program, call 800-343-4535.
JFK Memorial Hospital
47111 Monroe St., Indio, CA 92201
760-347-6191 • www.jfkmemorialhosp.com