There is hope to improve the lives of patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) like never before here in Northwest Indiana thanks to the work Cardiologist Prakash Makam, M.D., is doing in conjunction with Community Hospital as one of only 12 TALON research sites in the nation.
TALON, an acronym for Treating PeripherAls with SiLverHawk: Outcomes CollectioN, is a study sponsored by Fox Hollow
, the manufacturer of a new PAD treatment device.
As one of the study's 12 principal investigators, Makam
is also one of the most experienced physicians in the country for this procedure.
For the procedure, a guide wire is threaded into the diseased leg artery to guide the SilverHawk device into place.
Then, at a very high rotation per minute, the device works by shaving plaque from the artery wall and pushing it into a nose cone for collection.
Podiatrist Christopher Grandfield, D.P.M., has sent many patients to Makam for the procedure.
Originally developed to clean out heart arteries, atherectomy is proving to be an even more effective treatment for blocked arteries in the leg, Makam
After six months, only 10 percent of patients who had undergone the SilverHawk procedure needed to have the procedure repeated.
The reintervention rate is 30 to 40 percent when a balloon is used to flatten plaque against the artery walls, and 20 percent when stents are used to reopen the femoral artery.
"To open blocked arteries in the knee and below is particularly difficult with a balloon or stents and in my opinion those locations do best with atherectomy," Makam
Losing a limb is traumatic enough, but when coupled with the statistics that only 50 percent of diabetics live three or more years following a lower-limb amputation, there's all the more motivation to find better treatments through research initiatives such as the TALON study, Makam