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New Technology at Baton Rouge General Treats Severe Form of Peripheral Artery Disease

BATON ROUGE, La. – Vascular surgeon Dr. Glen Schwartzberg is the first physician in Louisiana and one of three nationwide to treat a patient with a complex case of peripheral artery disease (PAD) using the most advanced technology. The new system from Avinger is called TIGEREYE and gives surgeons real-time, high-definition imaging from inside the patient’s artery, more precise control, and the ability to better break through blockages.

PAD is a recurring build-up of plaque in the arteries that limits blood flow to the legs and feet and affects 20 million adults in the U.S. Up to 50% of patients with symptomatic PAD have a complete or nearly complete blockage, called a chronic total occlusion (CTO).

“This device can be a game-changer in treatment options for CTOs, helping us tackle the toughest blockages with less potential vascular injury,” said Dr. Schwartzberg. “With these advancements, we are able to provide better outcomes for our patients who are suffering from this severe form of PAD.”

Often dismissed as normal signs of aging, symptoms of PAD can include painful cramping, numbness or discoloration in the legs or feet. It is the leading cause of amputation in people age 50 and older. PAD also puts patients at an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

To treat PAD in a patient with a CTO, a surgeon must successfully cross the blockage. Currently, the most widely used treatment option in a CTO-crossing procedure has doctors relying solely on X-ray and their sense of touch to guide their tools while trying to navigate devices and clear plaque. With Avinger’s lumivascular technology, surgeons can see inside the artery, giving them better knowledge of the problem, and in turn more options to handle it, all in real time. It’s also a radiation-free technology, which means it doesn’t expose healthcare workers and patients to the negative effects of ionizing radiation.

This first case using TIGEREYE is part of a limited launch at a handful of top clinical centers before Avinger, the medical device company, expands distribution to additional treatment facilities in the U.S.

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 serves as an affiliate of Tulane University School of Medicine, and 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, find us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @BRGeneral.