Posted by Ryan Jean-Baptiste, M.D.
December 10, 2014
Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire is the first hospital in northwest Wisconsin to use drug-coated balloons for the treatment of peripheral arterial disease in the lower leg area.
Drug-coated balloons are an exciting advancement in the treatment of peripheral arterial disease. They allow us to open up blocked arteries and administer a drug to keep the arteries open longer — all without having to leave a permanent stent, a tube used to hold open a blood vessel or other bodily passageway, in the body.
Peripheral arterial disease is similar to the hardening of the arteries that causes heart attacks. The same process tends to occur elsewhere in the body and can lead to pain with walking, which can progress to pain all the time, even at rest. If left untreated, the disease can lead to loss of the affected limb.
Previous treatment of diseases involving the arteries in the groin and the foot were limited to surgical bypass, pain control or amputation. In the past four years, there have been significant advances in minimally-invasive treatment of peripheral arterial disease. So much so that surgery is often delayed or avoided altogether with the use of stents and balloons to open up blocked vessels in the legs.
Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire is leading the charge in our community for minimally invasive treatment of peripheral arterial disease and on the cutting edge of technology in this arena.
Talk with your primary care provider if you are having difficulty walking or are experiencing pain in your calf or feet with rest or minimal exertion. An evaluation by a vascular specialist in Cardiology or Interventional Radiology might be right for you.
Other Mayo Clinic Health System sites using drug-coated balloons