Mega Doctor News–
As originally First published by Mega Doctor News newsprint edition
Harlingen, April 15, 2014 – A Harlingen man became the first patient in the Valley to undergo a procedure using a new type of technology, in which fatty substances and calcium deposits are “sanded away” from inside his blood vessels by a new type of high-speed spinning device.
Dr. Charles Mild, Cardiologist, performed the Valley’s first procedure Tuesday morning (April 15, 2014) using a “Diamondback 360® Coronary Orbital Atherectomy System,” which is now used to treat high-risk heart patients at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen.
“This technology gives us a new tool which can potentially save the lives of many difficult-to-treat patients in the Valley with coronary artery disease,” Dr. Mild said.
Because of high amounts of fat and cholesterol in their diet, many residents of the Rio Grande Valley and elsewhere have a build-up of a fatty substance called plaque inside the walls of arteries that supply blood to the heart. This “plaque buildup” causes the arteries to narrow and become hardened with calcium – reducing the amount of blood and oxygen flowing to the heart. This can become a life-threatening condition if blood flow to the heart is severely reduced.
In addition, high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure in the Valley increase the risk of coronary artery disease. Nationwide, more than 16.3 million people have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease – and the condition kills more than 600,000 Americans every year, according to the American Heart Association.
The new “Diamondback 360® Coronary Orbital Atherectomy” device is used to gently sand away plaque and calcium inside the patient’s blood vessels. The extremely small device, resembling a wire, spins inside the artery, creating centrifugal force to sand away fatty material and calcium in arteries that have narrowed over time. Healthy tissue “flexes away” from the rotating device (the device can only “bite” into hardened material such as calcium). The diamond-coated tip, or “crown”, of the device, is only 1.25-millimeter (less than 1/16 of an inch) across.
The technology represents a new treatment for certain high-risk coronary artery disease patients, which has been approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
“For certain patients, this ‘Roto-Rooter-like device’ can help the cardiologist to remove most of the calcium build-up in the artery,” Dr. Mild said. “Once most of that build-up is removed and the artery is open, it makes it much easier to place a tiny metal device called a stent inside the blood vessel, to help hold the artery open, so blood and oxygen continue flowing to the heart.”
Parker MacDonald, RN, BSN, CCRN, Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories and Cardiac Rehabilitation Dept. at Valley Baptist, said the new device will be used to unclog arteries that are hardened with calcium, in “our state-of-the-art digital cath labs” at Valley Baptist.
The new device was developed by Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information on heart disease and treatment, consult your physician and visit www.ValleyBaptist.net/Medical-Services/Cardiovascular. MDN