Posted: Jan 18, 2013 4:38 PM by Olivia LaBorde
Updated: Jan 18, 2013 4:38 PM
BATON ROUGE- Doctors at Baton Rouge General are some of a select few trained in a new procedure to unblock arteries in the leg.
They are using the Ocelot Catheter, a device approved by the FDA just six weeks ago. It has a camera built into the catheter which lets doctors see exactly what they're doing and where they're going during surgery. Before, they had to rely on flat X-ray images from outside the body to plan their surgeries.
"For the first time you can see where you are in the artery," said vascular surgeon Dr. Glen Schwartzberg.
Surgeons like Dr. Schwartzberg are looking forward to treating patients who weren't able to get relief from Peripheral Artery Disease, a condition which severely blocks their arteries.
"Many times there's patients that have hardening of the arteries, but they're at such high risk,they can't under go any surgery. So they're out of luck they have no options," he says.
Most who need this kind of surgery are suffering from complications of diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking or elevated cholesterol.
"Before we had the Ocelot, the success rate of blockage was about 60 percent to 70 percent. But with the Ocelot, the track record and the studies the company has done, the success rate is up to 90 percent."
While it's a new procedure, Dr. Schwartzberg says they are steadily booking patients for treatments.
"Faced with the prospect of a two- to three-day hospital stay, incisions on your leg that have to heal, versus a needle stick that will heal that day or the next day, it's an obvious choice." he said. "Which one would you pick?"