Baptist Health is now offering a treatment option for those suffering from an advanced form of peripheral artery disease (PAD) in which the plaque blockage also includes the presence of calcium.
The treatment from Shockwave Medical Inc. is available at the health care organization’s campuses in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Conway and Fort Smith.
Intravascular Lithotripsy is an innovative advanced technology that uses sonic pressure waves to modify problematic calcium so that blockage can be alleviated, and blood flow can be restored. The therapy uses a similar minimally invasive approach that has been embraced by physicians for decades to treat kidney stones, which are also made up of calcium.
PAD affects nearly nine million people in the United States by preventing blood flow to the legs and feet, causing significant pain and limited mobility, and potentially leading to surgery or even amputation in severe cases.
However, general awareness of PAD is estimated at only 25 percent based on prior studies. As the U.S. population continues to live longer, the incidence of calcium within these blockages is rising.
Calcium slowly develops and progresses to its hardened, bone-like state over the course of several decades of cellular growth and death in diseased plaque within the vessel walls. While it is slow to develop, its impact is immediately encountered when performing procedures to repair calcified plaques in the vessel.
The calcium’s hardened structure restricts normal vessel movement and makes the rigid vascular tissue resistant to traditional balloon therapies that have been designed to compress the plaque within the vessel wall to restore normal blood flow.
For these reasons, the presence of calcium increases the complexity of most cases and decreases the effectiveness of most treatments.
Learn more about the new PAD treatment available at Baptist Health by calling 1-888-BAPTIST or by visiting Baptist-Health.com. If you are suffering from leg discomfort or have questions about PAD, talk to your provider about treatment options.