DMC Heart Hospital First in U.S. to Use New Device to Treat Vascular Disease


Doctors at the Detroit Medical Center are the first in the country to use a new drug coated balloon catheter — the only technology of its kind approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in treating peripheral arterial disease.

Peripheral arterial disease affects millions of Americans by narrowing arteries and reducing blood flow to the limbs, according to the American Heart Association. The condition may eventually lead to lower-extremity amputation.

“This demonstrates the dedication of DMC Heart Hospital to provide cutting edge technology, which is cost effective in combating cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Theodore Schreiber, president of DMC Heart Hospital and a member of the surgical team.

Schrieber and Dr. Mahir Elder performed the procedure Saturday on a Detroit patient with advanced peripheral arterial disease. When the patient arrived at the hospital complaining of severe leg pains, Elder examined her and decided to use the new device to remove the arterial blockage. In a procedure lasting 30 minutes, he successfully employed the technology, completely removing the blockage and restoring the patient’s full leg function.

“This new tool is going to help peripheral arterial disease patients greatly, because the medication that is included on the balloon significantly enhances its ability to remove arterial blockages,” Elder says. “This new non-surgical technology will help improve circulation in the leg.”

Minimally-invasive endovascular procedures such as angioplasty balloons and stents, medications, and vascular bypass surgery are some of the accepted ways to treat the disease, but these options may be limited depending on the type of arterial blockage. Having access to the new catheter provides doctors with a quick, and relatively easy way to treat patients.

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