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The Methodist Hospital among first in U.S. to implant device designed to prevent blood clots in vascHouston, TX - 12/8/2006
Surgeons at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center in Houston were among the first in the U.S. to implant a new vascular graft engineered to reduce the risk of blood clots in patients treated for peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which affects as many as 12 million Americans over the age of 50.
The new Gore graft, approved for use in the U.S. in November, is the first vascular graft available in the U.S. that has a blood-thinner bonded to its surface to prevent clotting long-term. It is part of an emerging class of products that combine mechanical and biological elements to address severe atherosclerosis.
Because the blood-thinning drug stays on the graft, rather than flowing out into the blood stream, this graft prevents blood clots from forming inside the graft and causing graft failure, said Dr. Alan B. Lumsden, M.D., vascular surgeon at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center, who performed the surgery Wednesday on a 66 year-old man. The procedure involves bypassing the clogged artery to create a new route blood can take to feed the patients legs.
PAD is a buildup of plaque in the wall of an artery that results in narrowing or blocking of the artery, limiting blood flow to the legs and causing anything from severe leg pain to gangrene and amputation. Severe cases are commonly treated with surgical bypass of the clogged artery, using either a synthetic graft or another healthy vein from the patient.
Most vascular surgeons have been frustrated by the inability of synthetic grafts to perform as well as vein grafts in lower-limb bypass, Lumsden said. Close to a third of patients simply dont have the option of using one of their own veins. These new grafts are showing results that are remarkably close to the success of using a patients own vein for treatment.
"Bonding an anti-coagulant to the graft is a quantum leap ahead in vascular surgery, Lumsden said. "Its exciting and personally gratifying to see this come to fruition in one of my own patients, validating years of medical research.
Lumsden was involved in early imaging studies of heparin-bonded graft, which showed a major improvement in the clinical performance of grafts bonded with heparin over those that are bare. Trial data has since confirmed that heparin-bonded grafts perform competitively with the success of bare grafts.Key findings from clinical trial supporting Gore Propaten vascular graft