OCEANSIDE, December 3, 2007 – For the first time in the United States, a new technology is being tested that could affect millions of patients suffering from Peripheral Artery Disease, or PAD. Tri-City Medical Center interventional radiologist Richard Saxon, M.D., a world leader in the treatment of Peripheral Artery Disease, is the national principal investigator for this new trial sponsored by W. L. Gore.
Dr. Saxon recently enrolled the first patient in the nation on this trial, implanting a new stent graft in the patient’s leg artery that is designed to reduce risk of blood clots in patients treated for PAD.
Also known as Peripheral Vascular Disease, PAD affects as many as 12 million Americans over the age of 50 and can cause severe leg pain when walking, gangrene and amputation if left untreated. PAD is a buildup of plaque in the wall of an artery that results in narrowing or blocking of the artery, limiting blood flow to the legs. Typically PAD would be treated with surgical bypass of the clogged artery or with an endovascular technique such as an angioplasty. But new technology that has proven successful in treating hardened arteries is offering a more efficient, less invasive solution and is replacing procedures that have higher complications rates.
The new stent graft, known as GORE VIABAHN® Endoprosthesis with Heparin Bioactive Surface, has the blood-thinning agent, Heparin, bonded to its surface to help prevent clotting of the graft long term, and is the only device of its kind to be implanted via a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure.
“This device is really a new weapon in the fight against PAD,” said Dr. Saxon. “The first patient I treated came to my office with severe leg pain due to a blocked artery. After a short outpatient procedure, the patient’s pain was nearly eliminated. We believe this new technology will lead to a long-term solution in the treatment of PAD.”
Dr. Saxon came to Tri-City Medical Center in 1997 with the hope of developing a clinical research program that would improve interventional medicine, ultimately diagnosing and treating patients quicker and more efficiently. Along with his partners, Donald Ponec, M.D. and Justin Gooding, M.D., they provide world-class care to their patients at Tri-City Medical Center.
“We are also the only hospital in all of Southern California using “drug-coated” stents to treat PAD, which are available to our patients through the Zilver PTX trial, another research trial sponsored by Cook Inc.,” reported Saxon. “To me, that says a lot about Tri-City Medical Center and the quality of care patients receive here.”