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New Technology at Metro Health Opens the Way for Better Treatment Options, Outcomes for Patients with PAD

During the last quarter of 2011, Metro Health Hospital debuted three new devices that could expand the range of treatment options and provide better outcomes for patients with peripheral arterial disease, or PAD.

In late-December, Metro Health physicians were the first in the nation to use the Chocolate PTA balloon catheter by TriReme Medical, Inc.  The Chocolate PTA is used to treat complex arterial blockages during the process of plaque removal.

In mid-December, Metro Health became one of the first hospitals in the country to utilize the TruePath CTO device by Boston Scientific.  The TruePath utilizes a diamond-coated tip to remove dangerous plaque build-up from peripheral arteries.

In mid-November, Metro Health became the first hospital in West Michigan to use the Xience Prime™ drug-eluting stent by Abbott to treat lesions in legs by opening blocked blood vessels.  The device features an innovative design that is longer than other stents on the market and designed to use below the knee, where vessels are typically smaller.

That marks four times in 2011 that Metro Health’s interventional cardiovascular team has been either the first in the nation or the first in the region to debut a new, innovative surgical device shortly after being awarded approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,

In March, Metro Health became the first hospital in the world to use Cardiovascular System’s Stealth 360°™ Orbital PAD System, a minimally invasive catheter device used in arteries to remove plaque and restore blood flow to unhealthy and at-risk tissue.

Mike Faas, president and CEO at Metro Health, said these opportunities arise because the hospital has a growing national reputation as a leader in limb salvage efforts, thanks to the work of Dr. Jihad Mustapha and other cardiologists on his team.

“Metro Health is truly in the forefront nationally in the fight to eliminate the use of amputation,” Faas said.  “Our talented and dedicated cardiologists have a growing reputation, which has attracted patients from throughout Michigan, the United States and Canada and teaching opportunities for physicians around the world to come to Metro and for Metro physicians to go to Germany, China and beyond.

“Our physicians work closely with device makers to develop and enhance surgical devices such as the Chocolate PTA, Xience Prime, TruePath and Stealth 360.  It is an honor for Metro Health cardiologists to be among the first in their field to use these new devices to treat PAD, which can have devastating effects on patients.”

More than 17 million people suffer from PAD in the United States, which is caused by the accumulation of plaque in peripheral arteries — commonly the pelvis or leg — reducing blood flow. Symptoms include leg pain when walking or at rest, and tissue loss that can lead to limb amputation.  Many patients with PAD are affected by diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity or renal insufficiency.

The Chocolate PTA utilizes a novel design that incorporates a constraining structure over a semi-compliant balloon to facilitate the formation of small “pillows” during surgery.  These pillows can expand locally to facilitate plaque modification and are designed to lower the strain and trauma induced on the vessel wall.

Originally designed and used successfully for the heart, the Xience Prime is the longest stent on the market and perfect for legs, which typically have longer lesions.  The stent’s end has a protective coating of drugs designed to minimize the growth of tissue that could eventually narrow or close the blood vessel.  The new stent is flexible as well as crush-proof, which are both critical in leg applications.

The TruePath is a thin wire that pulverizing plaque extremely finely as it moves through a blood vessel.  This break-through technology features built-in sensors designed to keep the wire’s diamond-coated tip moving through the central lumen, or open pathway, of the blood vessel to prevent it from breaking through the vessel’s wall.


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