Technology Designed to Eliminate Unnecessary
Amputations in Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease
AUSTIN, Texas—Recently, physicians at Heart Hospital of Austin began participating in CONNECT II, a global clinical trial conditionally approved by the FDA that gives physicians access to a sophisticated new imaging technology tool to fight Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). The technology, called Ocelot, helps to eliminate the need for bypass surgeries and/or amputations in patients with the disease. Each year, nearly 200,000 amputations occur as a result of PAD, and many of them can be avoided. Heart Hospital of Austin is the only site in Central Texas to participate in this trial.
Matthew Selmon, M.D.; Roger Gammon, M.D.; Mark Picone, M.D.; and Frank Zidar, M.D.—interventional cardiologists at Heart Hospital of Austin and with Austin Heart—are participating in the CONNECT II trial.
Ocelot is the first-ever Chronic Total Occlusion-crossing catheter that can access exact regions of the peripheral vasculature where the blockages occur, while simultaneously providing physicians with visualization for real-time navigation during an intervention. Physicians are using Ocelot to help restore blood flow in completely blocked arteries in patients’ legs through a simple two-millimeter skin incision, helping to avoid amputation.
PAD, affecting between 8 and 12 million adults in the United States alone, is caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries that blocks blood flow to the legs and feet. Because some blockages can become so severe and difficult to penetrate with traditional catheters, patients (unaware of other options) often resort to undergoing extremely invasive bypass surgeries that result in even higher health risks and lengthy, painful recoveries. Patients over 50 often face amputation.
“This technology enables physicians to treat PAD patients with increased precision,” Dr. Selmon, a national principle investigator for the study, said. “The trial aims to help patients regain mobility and improve their quality of life, possibly preventing unnecessary amputations. We are committed to saving the legs of our PAD patients so they can return to a healthy life.”
CONNECT II trial procedures using Ocelot are minimally invasive and designed to allow patients to leave the hospital within hours and return to normal activities within a few days.
Often dismissed as normal signs of aging, symptoms of PAD include painful cramping, numbness or discoloration in the legs or feet. Hospitalization costs of PAD alone are estimated to exceed $21 billion annually, largely due to late detection and patients experiencing a decreased quality of life from amputation. Early detection is the key to saving limbs.
Heart Hospital of Austin
Heart Hospital of Austin, located at 3801 North Lamar Boulevard, is part of St. David’s HealthCare, one of the largest health systems in Texas, which was recognized as one of the top 15 health systems in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters in January 2012. Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, Heart Hospital of Austin is a shared vision of local cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons. Working with hospital leadership, the physicians created an atmosphere of quality, resulting in the leading cardiac program in Texas for six consecutive years as ranked by HealthGrades®—a leading independent health ratings organization. In July 2009, a study funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revealed that Heart Hospital of Austin was the leading hospital in the United States for treatment of a heart attack. Heart Hospital of Austin has also been named a top cardiovascular hospital in the nation by Thomson Reuters for six years, most recently being named to the list of 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals in 2011. In addition to providing a full range of cardiovascular services and an advanced Executive Wellness Program, Heart Hospital of Austin has a comprehensive 24-hour emergency department. Heart Hospital of Austin is a St. David’s Medical Center facility. For more information, please visit HeartHospitalofAustin.com.
Austin Heart is the largest provider of cardiac and vascular services in Central Texas, with 12 full-time office locations, 13 outreach clinics and 46 cardiologists. Austin Heart has been serving the Central Texas area since 1973. Austin Heart’s cardiologists sub-specialize in every diagnostic and treatment area of cardiovascular disease, America’s No. 1 killer—interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, vein disease, sleep disorders, erectile dysfunction, imaging, women’s cardiovascular health and a nationally recognized research department. To learn more about Austin Heart physicians, or to schedule an appointment, visit AustinHeart.com.