Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
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Methodist provides patients with cutting-edge medical device technology

Houston, TX - 8/15/2003

A new filtering device is reducing complications during balloon angioplasty or stenting of leg veins used in heart bypass surgeries.

If the leg, or saphenous, vein, later becomes diseased there is a higher risk of complications during an angioplasty or stenting procedure.  Doctors at The Methodist Hospital use the FilterWire to keep debris from traveling through an artery and becoming lodged, obstructing the blood flow through the artery. The FDA-approved filter, unlike the alternative methods used, maintains blood flow during the procedure.  Previously,  this potential problem has has been addressed with medicationsy or with a device that temporarily stops blood flow, and therefore prevents oxygen from reaching vital tissue for a short time.

“During these type of angioplasties, plaque from the diseased vein can break off and flow into the heart, potentially causing a heart attack,” said Dr. Neal Kleiman, director of cardiac catheterization laboratories at The Methodist DeBakey Heart Center.  “The FilterWire is a major safety advantage because it provides protection for this type of embolism while enabling continuous blood flow.”

Mounted on a guide wire, The FilterWire EX System is inserted into the main artery of the thigh via a catheter.  It is then guided  past the blocked area and is deployed. The filter, a thin material, opens like an umbrella in the artery, catching any debris that might be present, but allowing the blood to continue flowing...  When the procedure is done, the filter closestrapping the debris and carrying it out when the system is removed. 

Next week, Dr. Kleiman will participate in a simulation, called SimSuite, with several other Methodist doctors to refine their techniques using the FilterWire. SimSuite provides a virtual environment for advanced training on this procedure.