Newly approved technology helps surgeons remove plaque thoroughly and with
Baton Rouge, La. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new,
safer, more thorough approach to treat peripheral artery disease (PAD).
The worldwide clinical trial to treat PAD with Avinger’s next generation
of the Pantheris lumivascular atherectomy system began in March 2017 with
vascular surgeon Dr. Glen Schwartzberg at Baton Rouge General (BRG).
PAD occurs when plaque builds up in arteries, limiting blood flow to the
legs and feet. The disease affects approximately 20 million adults in
the U.S. and more than 200 million people globally – ranking as
the leading cause of amputation in people age 50 and older. Its symptoms
are frequently dismissed as normal signs of aging, including painful cramping,
numbness or discoloration in the legs or feet. However, when plaque is
cleared from PAD patients’ arteries, blood flow returns to a normal
rate and reduces their risk of amputation.
For more than a decade, Dr. Schwartzberg and BRG have led the way in plaque
removal technology – from relying on balloons and X-ray images,
to progressively improving the stents they used, to adopting Avinger’s
advanced imaging system that offers a better view when clearing plaque.
Avinger’s newest version of that advanced imaging system is designed
to reduce surgical time and remove plaque more efficiently and thoroughly.
Last year, Dr. Schwartzberg was selected to begin the clinical trial of
the next-generation system, incorporating the advanced imaging features
with revisions that add proficiency to the tool.
“Combining Avinger’s 360-degree view of arteries with the new
version of the plaque removal tool makes a huge difference in accurately
treating hardened arteries,” said Dr. Schwartzberg. “Now we
can offer a safer, more thorough option for PAD patients, giving them
hope for a better quality of life.”
Surgeons without access to the next-generation Pantheris technology rely
on two-dimensional X-rays and their sense of touch to guide tools when
trying to clear arteries. Pantheris offers the only technology that combines
real-time imaging with highly effective catheters to treat PAD, allowing
surgeons to see arteries real-time while navigating devices around blood
vessels to more accurately remove plaque.
Learn more about vascular issues and treatment at
About Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge General Medical Center is the area’s first community
hospital with 588 licensed beds between two campuses. Baton Rouge General
opened its doors in 1900, and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community
with high-quality healthcare for generations. An accredited teaching hospital
since 1991, Baton Rouge General offers other medical education programs,
including a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family
Medicine Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports
Medicine Fellowship Program. For more information, visit
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