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Local hospital offers a new treatment for patients with peripheral artery disease

Posted at 4:04 PM, Nov 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-25 19:56:46-05

A new treatment is being offered to patients with peripheral artery disease, or PAD at Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital.

This hospital is among the first in Arizona to add a device that lets surgeons see and clear plaque from an artery simultaneously. 

Almost 20 million people are affected with peripheral artery disease.

Dr. Berens, M.D. uses a device that incorporates real-time optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging, which is a small camera placed on the tip of a catheter.

"We had an opportunity for the first time in medical history to be able to see what we are doing so we can actually see the plaque and we turn the device in the direction where the plaque is inside the artery like a tube and we can cut it out," said Dr. Berens.

Before this new feature added to a catheter, doctors weren't able to know precisely where the plaque was in an artery. 

Steven Johnson, a patient of Dr. Berens, explained he had severe pain in his leg that was misdiagnosed for seven years. 

Johnson was one of the first of Dr. Berens' patients to get this procedure. He says there was no pain at all and his leg is as good as new. 

"Leg feels great, I mean I can walk pretty much any distance that I want to and I skated twice this weekend and  there is absolutely no pain at all," said Johnson. 

Dr. Berens says the procedure can take hours and the recovery is almost immediate.