MedWatch- Peripheral Arterial Disease from Medwatch 7 KSWO on Vimeo.

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Peripheral Arterial Disease, or PAD, is blockage of the arteries to the legs, arms, and head. It can be deadly and doctors say 1 in 5 people will develop it. But now, doctors are using a new procedure to treat it and it’s available right here in Texoma.

PAD is similar to Coronary Artery Disease and is most commonly found in the legs. But, it can also affect the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys, and stomach.

Cardiologist Dr. Vijaya Velury says it can be fatal: “Peripheral vascular disease is a big problem. We are seeing more and more patients with peripheral vascular disease.”

The Heart and Vascular Center at Comanche County Memorial Hospital is now offering a new procedure to help treat PAD, and it’s called Peripheral Laser Atherectomy. The procedure uses a catheter that emits high energy light to unblock the artery. The laser essentially vaporizes the blockage inside the vessel to allow for blood flow.

“It enables us to tackle some of the blockage which we were not able to do before.” Dr. Velury says they still use the other procedures, but the peripheral laser atherectomy will further their success in helping patients. “The other ways of doing it. We were using balloons and stints and all that. We still do them, but there is some blockage that we could not get to before, just with the balloons. So, the laser helps in those situations.”

People with peripheral arterial disease have a higher risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack or stroke. Dr. Velury says that’s why it is so important for people to be aware of the disease and know your risks.

“The common risk factors are diabetes. Diabetes is the biggest risk factor. Then smoking is the second biggest. Then you have– hypertension, hypolipidemia. Those are the main things.”

Dr. Velury says other symptoms besides pain, can be discoloration in the legs, cramping, tiredness, and sores or ulcers. If you feel you may be at risk of PAD, talk with your doctor or contact the Heart and Vascular Center at 580-250-4278.

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