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Leg Pain Therapy

By: Dr. Mallika Marshall
By: Dr. Mallika Marshall

Sinay Azarian is walking fine now but only two weeks ago he had trouble just making it one block.

Sinay says, "I had to stop because my muscle was getting tight, pain"

He suffered from PVD, or Peripheral Vascular Disease. A build up of plaque in his leg artery kept blood from flowing and caused extreme pain.

Traditionally, doctors would have to bypass the artery, a major operation with a long recovery, but now the blockages can be cleared with minimally invasive techniques that take less than an hour to perform, and patients are back on their feet in no time.

Some doctors put in a stent, which creates a tunnel for blood to flow through the artery. There's also angioplasty, which expands the vessel.

For Sinay, Dr. Thomas Bernick decided to use a new device called the Silverhawk. Traveling through a small cut in the groin he ran a catheter to Sinay's blockage. The device basically works like a Roto-Rooter, clearing out the buildup of plaque from the artery walls and allowing blood to flow.

Dr. Bernick believes this technique is better than stenting and angioplasty because it doesn't put strain on the blood vessel.

Dr. Thomas Bernick explains, "You put a stent or an angioplasty in a certain vessel and the vessel may not stay open. When you put something in an artery it tends to scar and cause a narrowing."

However, this device is fairly new and right now there's not enough data to show if it's actually better or worse than other procedures. All Sinay knows is that he's walking again, pain free.


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