Cardiologists Tackle 'Next Frontier' In Cardiovascular Disease

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The complex cases performed during prestigious Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics symposium by Dr. Tony Das, an interventional cardiologist at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, represent the latest treatments for peripheral vascular disease, a looming health concern as the U.S. population ages and more Americans live with heart disease. The country's obesity epidemic will also dramatically increase the number of people with vascular disease in coming years, experts say.

"As we see more and more people living longer with heart disease, it affects other parts of the body, including their limbs, abdomen and cerebral vessels," Dr. Das said. "Now we're able to treat the condition in those regions of the body, which improves both the quality and quantity of life for these patients."

The procedures performed by Dr. Das -- a subclavian graft stent, an aortic stent, a femoral total occlusion with laser, and a below-knee total occlusion -- were broadcast live from Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas to the TCT symposium, attended by more than 12,000 physicians from around the world.

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"These advances in the treatment of peripheral vascular disease are the next frontier in cardiovascular medicine," Dr. Das said.

Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas is one of only a handful of medical centers in the United States to broadcast live cases during the TCT symposium.

Peripheral vascular disease is a common condition affecting about 10 million adults in the U.S. The condition is a disease of blood vessels outside the heart and brain characterized by a narrowing of vessels that carry blood to the legs, arms, stomach and kidney. The condition may also include the build up of fatty deposits in the linings of artery walls. These blockages restrict blood circulation, which can damage tissue and lead to leg amputations.

The condition can sometimes be treated with medicines, but advanced cases may require angioplasty, a procedure to widen narrowed or blocked peripheral arteries. A wire mesh stent is then placed in the narrowed artery with a catheter.

"Without these advanced procedures, many of these patients would continue to get more and more sick, and some would face limb amputation and other life-threatening complications of the disease," said Dr. Kenneth Saland, an interventional cardiologist at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas who assisted Dr. Das in the live cases.

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