PINEHURST — Blocked heart arteries can lead to a heart attack, but the same problem can happen in the legs.
People with peripheral artery disease are at higher risk of heart attack or stroke. Untreated, it can lead to gangrene and amputation.
A new procedure called Turbo Booster dissolves the plaque away and restores blood flow.
James McNeill didn't want to retire at age 65, but that's what happened after he had blocked blood flow in his legs.
“My leg just gives out on me all at once,” he said. “I'm used to being like an old horse, just go all the time, just go all the time.”
McNeill had balloon angioplasty and metal stents placed before to correct the problem in both legs. But First Health Moore Regional's Cardiologist Dr. Nick Cavros was careful not to rely on too much stenting.
“And that can result in more scar tissue build up within the stent and renarrowing inside the stent,” Cavros said.
That's what happened to McNeil. An x-ray showed the two previously placed stents with no blood flow between them.
“Right there is a gap,” Cavros said.
Cavros inserted a catheter through a main artery near the groin, and found his way with a guide wire to the right thigh above the knee. A laser catheter opened up a narrow channel through the plaque to restore some blood flow.
“So now we're going with the booster and clean things up a little bit,” Cavros said.
It's called Turbo Booster. Fed down the catheter, the Turbo Booster laser pops out and boars a larger channel, dissolving the plaque. Then, Cavros pulls back and turns the device to create a wider opening.
The x-ray shows restored blood flow where before there wasn't any.
McNeill said he hopes the results will be enough to delay full retirement, extend his work life and his life.