August 07, 2018 10:21 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - It's a condition that's often resulted in gruesome outcomes.
“Sometimes patients just get sent off to get an amputation saying that's the only option there is, but that's not true anymore,” Dr. Henao, a vascular surgeon at the Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center said.
Today, there are new options and new hope for treating ischemia, a vascular disease that restricts blood flow and can lead to gangrene or infection.
Heart Hospital doctors perform revolutionary procedure
Two doctors, known for pushing the limits, have successfully performed the "LimFlow" procedure at the Heart Hospital.
“Essentially what it is is a new procedure that allows us to get blood flow down to a foot that does not have any oxygen or nutrients to it,” Dr. Henao said.
He said the traditional approach is usually bypass, which is much more stressful on the patient and involves more anesthetic.
“Whereas now these procedures are completely done without any incisions and the recovery time can potentially lead to a discharge time from a hospital within 24 hours,” Dr. Henao said.
Without "LimFlow" the odds of a patient’s survival, even with an amputation aren't good.
“If someone loses a leg from this disease process, one out of four are dead within a year. Statistically speaking, this is a worse disease process than breast cancer or colon cancer,” Dr, Henao said.
The Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center is the only hospital in the west performing this procedure. Dr. Henao said patients from as far away as Los Angeles, California are booking appointments to have it done.
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