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Chilton Announces New Procedure to Treat Peripheral Artery Disease

Chilton Medical Center is among the first hospitals in New Jersey to offer a new type of interventional therapy to treat peripheral artery disease (PAD), a common and potentially life-threatening condition associated with an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.chilton%20hospital%20web%203%20sm.jpg

Recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), drug-coated balloons represent the latest advancement in PAD care. They are designed to reopen arteries in the upper leg that have been narrowed or blocked by plaque once medical management, including as lifestyle changes and medications, have failed. During the procedure, the inflated balloon pushes the plaque away to create a channel for blood flow and medication on the balloon surface is absorbed into the artery wall. The balloon is then removed, leaving the medication behind. The newly opened vessel enables blood flow to be restored through the treated artery.

The first procedure at Chilton Medical Center was performed by interventional cardiologist Dr. Lawrence Blitz of Wayne on February 27, 2015.

PAD is a painful problem that affects an estimated 12 million people in the United States. It commonly affects arteries in the upper legs, and can cause recurrent and painful muscle cramping in the thigh and/or upper calf. The pain can be described as dull, causing a heaviness or tightness in the muscles, but often will stop when the person is at rest. Experiencing pain, even while at rest or while sleeping, is a sign of a more severe disease. If not properly treated, PAD can lead to life-threatening complications, and is associated with a four to five times higher risk for heart attack or stroke. In some cases, PAD can initially be treated with lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, exercising and eating healthy, and medications to lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure. If the leg pain continues, more invasive approaches are used to mechanically open the arteries. PAD in the legs is often connected to health conditions in other parts of the body, especially the heart.

Chilton Medical Center has chosen to use the IN.PACT Admiral drug-coated balloon by Medtronic because it has demonstrated the best results observed to date in the treatment of PAD in the upper legs. In particular, studies have shown treatment with the IN.PACT Admiral drug-coated balloon reduces the need to have a similar repeat procedure within the next year, which is more common with other types of interventional procedures for the treatment of the condition. Learn more about Heart and Vascular Care at Chilton Medical Center.

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