Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center completes first “LimFlow” procedure in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE – July 11, 2018 – The first ever LimFlow, or percutaneous deep vein arterialization system, in the Western United States was performed at Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center by New Mexico Heart Institute vascular surgeons, Steven Henao, MD, FACC, FACS and Richard Wilkerson, MD, RPVI.
For patients suffering from severe vascular disease or ischemia (an inadequate blood supply to a part of the body), the arterial system may not be delivering blood to a limb due to blockage. In the leg, this can cause unrelenting pain, a troublesome wound or even gangrene - a condition known as critical limb ischemia, or CLI. These patients may not be candidates for balloons, stents or bypass surgery and, therefore, often have no alternative but to face a leg amputation. LimFlow is minimally-invasive and designed to bypass the blocked arteries in the leg and rush blood back in to the foot, potentially avoiding major amputation, resolving pain and promoting wound healing.
LimFlow is an investigational device/procedure and in the clinical trial stages and Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center is one of only seven hospitals in the country where it is being performed.
“This is the most dramatic advance the field of medicine has seen in decades for treating gangrene and non-healing leg wounds, giving our patients with CLI new hope for saving them from a possible leg amputation,” said Dr. Steve Henao, medical director of cardiovascular research at the New Mexico Heart Institute (NMHI). “In the past, we had no way of getting blood flow back through the arteries into the foot, leaving us with the gruesome option of partial or complete amputation of the foot or the entire leg. When someone loses a leg from CLI, one in four patients is unfortunately dead within one year. This is worse than many diseases, such as breast or colon cancer. With new advances such as this, we are not only saving patients’ limbs, we are also saving patients’ lives, as well.”
Drs. Henao and Wilkerson have now performed LimFlow on two patients.
“Our physicians and staff have the highest level of cardiovascular expertise at Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center,” said Troy Greer, CEO for the Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center. “We are very happy to be able to treat our patients, who would otherwise have no option, but amputation, to save their limbs and gain a better quality of life.”
For more information on the LimFlow procedure, please call 505.727.5503.
Contact: Whitney Marquez, Lovelace Health System Phone: 505.727.5503
Lovelace Health System consists of Lovelace Medical Center, Lovelace UNM Rehabilitation Hospital, Lovelace Women’s Hospital, Lovelace Westside Hospital, Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center, Lovelace Regional Hospital, and Lovelace Medical Group.