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Around Our Town...To Your Health

Relief from PVD (Peripheral Vascular Disease)

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06/01/2006 - Peripheral Vascular Disease, known as PVD affects nearly 12 million people in the United States. Similar to cardiovascular disease, PVD is caused by the buildup of fat and cholesterol, known as plaque, which disrupts normal blood flow to arteries in the vascular system. Symptoms of the disease often include severe pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in the leg. Leg pain, known as claudication, can be so extreme that patients may have difficulty in walking short distances.

If left untreated, PVD ultimately can lead to amputations. Last year alone, over 150,000 amputations were performed in the U.S. In a number of hospitals across the country, plaque excision has been used to save the patient's leg from amputation after other peripheral interventions have failed.

Wyoming Medical Center patients now have another alternative in the treatment of PVD. The Silverhawk Plaque Excision System is a new FDA-cleared device for the safe removal of harmful plaque from blocked arteries in the legs.

This unique device uses a tiny, rotating blade the size of a grain of rice to shave away large quantities of plaque from inside the artery. As it is excised, the plaque collects in the tip of the device and then is removed from the patient.

The Silverhawk System was developed by Fox Hollow Technologies. The company was founded by Dr. John B. Simpson, a noted interventional cardiologist responsible for developing many other minimally invasive devices now routinely used in treating coronary and peripheral arterial diseases.

Those at risk of developing PVD include patients with high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Other contributing factors include obesity, smoking and an inactive lifestyle. Screening for peripheral vascular disease is simple and painless so consult with your physician to find out if you are at risk. If further treatment is necessary, they may refer you to a vascular surgeon, cardiologist or intervention radiologist.

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