Treating PVD the Endovascular Way: February 6, 2012

When he was 92 years old Thomas Fagan started experiencing circulatory problems.

“Well I couldn’t walk and the pains in the leg.”

“He has what we call peripheral vascular disease which means he’s not getting enough blood to his feet and his legs and he was in pain and he was not enjoying his life,” says Dr. Moutaa BenMaamer, a vascular surgeon with Lee Memorial Health System.

PVD is a condition of the blood vessels that lead to narrowing of the arteries that supply the legs and feet. The decreased blood flow can injure nerves and other tissues. Surgery is often required to reopen the blood vessels. There are two main options.

“It’s either an open surgery where we make a cut down, we find the vessel and we treat it. Or we do it through the stick in the skin and we call it the endovascular way,” says Dr. BenMaamer.

Given his age and condition, Thomas chose to have his PVD treated with endovascular surgery.

“It’s a minimally invasive procedure to treat all this pathology of vessels without making the cut,” says Dr. BenMaamer.

So instead of going under the knife, doctors went through an artery to clear the blockage. It was a brief surgery followed by an overnight hospital stay.

“It was an hour and a half he was already back to his room. The second day he went home and by the third day he was back to his normal life,” says Dr. BenMaamer.

With his leg pain behind him, Thomas had the stamina to take a swing at a new sport.

“He operated on me and since then I’ve been out playing golf.”