Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a condition that affects approximately 12 million people in the United States. The disease occurs when there is an accumulation of plaque in the arteries, most commonly occurring in the legs and pelvis. The buildup of plaque in the arteries causes a narrowing of the artery, constricting normal blood flow to body tissue and organs. When left untreated, PAD increases the risk of a heart attack, stroke, amputation and death. St. Alexius Heart & Vascular Center has treated many patients with PAD.
To reduce the serious risks associated with PAD, be sure to follow a healthy diet and follow a regular exercise program. Do not smoke, keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control, and be sure to get regular check ups if you have diabetes. The most common symptom of PAD is pain or cramping in the legs when walking. If left untreated, PAD could eventually lead to amputation. One of the newest and most advanced ways to treat PAD is plaque excision.
St. Alexius Heart & Vascular Center was the first in Bismarck to perform the plaque excision procedure using the SilverHawk™ Plaque Excision System. Plaque excision is a minimally invasive procedure performed through a tiny puncture site in the leg or arm. The SilverHawk System uses a tiny rotating blade to shave away plaque from inside the artery. As it is removed, the plaque collects in the tip of the device and then is removed from the patient.
This procedure proves to be a much easier alternative than previous methods. In the past, a "replacement artery" was often inserted to reroute the blood flow around the blocked segments of the artery.