LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A simple walk after dinner can bring excrutiating pain to some people with a condition called Peripheral Artery Disease, or PAD.
That typically describes a long piece of plaque that is narrowing the arteries in the limbs, especially the legs.
It can be life threatening but way before that, the pain can keep you from doing what you want to do, and going where you want to go.
Now, there is something new in Lubbock that could make you feel like your old self again in a matter of days.
First, consider the symptoms. It is easy to find yourself in a high risk group for PAD. That would include anyone with diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and a smoking history. PAD makes it hard for the blood to circulate all the way to your fingers and toes. You might feel the pain or see the ulcers before you even realize you’re in trouble.
Dr. Mohammad “Mac” Ansari is an interventional cardiologist and Texas Tech Physician. He explains, “You could see hair loss, you could see difficulty in walking, pain on walking, and skin changes. And you tend to ignore that, you know, when we have chest pain or headache, we run to the hospital, we call our doctor, if you have some kind of leg pain, we just tend to ignore this. But I think those are the signs that doesn’t need to be ignored because if you catch it at the earliest stage, the treatment is much more easier.”
This is what Dr. Ansari is excited about. He says thanks to a combination of new research and the merging of devices and technologies, Lubbock patients have a new option in treating this blockage through a tiny hole in the skin instead of traditional by-pass surgery. He says, “This is all internal. So there is no cuts, no surgery going on. And what we do is we use a stent conduit which is FDA approved, and we connect the artery to the artery bypassing to the vein and back.” Dr. Ansari says he is proud of the cardiology team at Texas Tech and the difference they are making out here in West Texas. He says, “I tease my colleagues in Dallas and Houston as well because they brag about their big cities and we here in Lubbock, at Texas Tech, we have this technology that we’re offering to our patients. And we are very fortunate to actually be first in Texas on that.”
Dr. Ansari adds this new procedure offers a faster recovery that the standard surgery. He explains that one of his patients who had difficulty walking was instead mowing the lawn within 3 days of the procedure.