Chandigarh, August 11 : The Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) patients suffering from heart problems, diabetes and high blood pressure or stroke now have high hopes from the drug-eluting balloon – a break through in the treatment of their leg blockades.
Briefing media persons about the latest advancement in blockade treatment, which is now conducted at Fortis Hospital Mohali, vascular surgeon, Dr Ravul Jindal, Director – Vascular & Endovascular Surgery Secretary, Venous Association of India (2011 – 2015) said that the drug releasing balloon had come as much needed relief.
It works on concept of leave nothing behind when treating vascular disease in the leg artery will be the best approach going forward. “Patients having blockade suffer from Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which is caused by hardening of the arteries due to the deposition of fat in the arterial wall,” he said.
He added that the symptoms can be curbed with exercise, dietary changes and blood pressure control in some patients. However, due to deposition of fat leg muscles can’t get enough blood and oxygen during exercise and walking becomes difficult for most of the patients. If not treated in time it leads to serious consequences in some patients in term of gangrene and even amputation. Here angioplasty (ballooning of the vessel) is required in severe cases to increase the blood supply to affected area. Normal ballooning (as in angioplasty) destroys cells using pressure. This often results in rebound overgrowth of cells lining the blood vessel blocking blood vessel again, added Dr Jindal.
“To solve this problem, technology introduced stents to keep these vessels opened. But they were also associated with the obstruction of vessel after heart surgery (reocclusion) rates though much lesser than plain balloon angioplasty,” he added.
These stents were followed by drug-coated stents with still better results. Now latest is drug-coated balloons, which prevents this overgrowth and have lower reocclusion rate equal to stent therapy and also avoiding the foreign body in the vessel at the same time, he explains. Drug eluting balloons and stents for opening blocked arteries in heart patients are now being employed to save the limbs of patients suffering from peripheral artery disease-PAD.
Dr Jindal added that this helps reduce chances of re-blockage due to fat deposition. “These balloons are coated with a special drug Called Paclitaxel. When they are inflated, the drug elutes and gets absorbed in vessel walls and acts continuously in the cells lining the arteries. Hence, the arteries remain open for a longer time,” Dr. Ravul Jindal said.
He added that if problem were to occur in the vessel following treatment with the eluting balloon, it would be possible to retreat the same vessel with second similar balloon, which is another major advantage of using these balloons.
The Fortis Hospital recently performed a successful angioplasty using drug eluting balloons to save leg of an elderly patient was suffering from blockage in artery of his leg which is a thigh artery and along with gangrene of the foot.
Patient underwent successful ballooning on August 1 when his leg arteries were opened using Drug Eluting Balloon. “The blood circulation to his foot has improved now, and the wound is showing signs of healing with growth of pink healing tissue,” said Dr. Jindal. He added that had the procedure not been performed, there were chances the patient would have required a below-knee amputation.
New hope for diabetics:
The success of drug eluting balloons comes as a big hope for diabetics who often suffer from blockage of vessels in the legs due to excess deposition of fat on artery walls. “Re-blockage chances are higher if it’s behind or below the knee and it is very difficult area to place stents there,” Dr Jindal said.