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Melody Adamo's artery disease was painful and disruptive to her daily life. But a high-tech medical tool changed that with one procedure.
A few months ago, Adamo couldn't have imagined being able to stroll out her door, pain-free.
Adamo says, "I could only walk so far and my thigh would hurt and even into my hip. So I knew I wasn't getting enough circulation."
She also had a foot wound that hadn't healed for five years. And, she needed to walk to recover from heart bypass surgery. So when Dr. Mitul Patel suggested using a state of the art catheter that could let him see the plaque buildup directly inside her leg arteries, Adamo was all in.
Dr. Patel, an interventional cardiologist at UC San Diego Health says, "It gives you very nice detailed images inside of the artery and allows you to focus your cutting on diseased segments rather than cutting healthy part of the artery."
Inside the artery, a camera the size of a grain of salt shows exactly where the plaque is. He cuts it away with the blade, which is rotating a thousand times a minute. The plaque is stored inside the nose cone and removed.
Dr. Patel says, "Long term, our hope is using this catheter does save time because it doesn't require patients to come back for recurring procedures. That's one of the Achilles heel of our current therapy for arterial disease."
Adamo says relief was immediate. She still has some discomfort, but it doesn't get in the way of her doing what she loves.
Right now, the Pantheris is only FDA approved for use in the legs, but Dr. Patel anticipates it being modified for larger vessels in the future.