WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) -- A West MIchigan doctor was the first in the world to use a new device to prevent amputation.
The device is called the Diamondback 360 Peripheral OAS. It is used to treat patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease or PAD.
The condition is a common circulatory problem. Arteries become narrowed, blocking the flow of blood to a patient's arms and legs. That causes numbness, pain and could even lead to amputation.
Doctor Jihad Mustapha, an interventional cardiologist with Metro Health, was the first doctor in the world to use the device in a new procedure.
A news release from Metro Health explains how the device works:
The Diamondback 360 Peripheral OAS uses a patented combination of differential sanding and centrifugal force to reduce arterial plaque, including calcium, which can cause complications when treating PAD.
Doctor Mustapha successfully used the device to clear a blockage for a patient in early March. Because of its small profile and short length, doctors can insert the device through the foot or ankle to clear blocked blood vessels below the knee.
The first patient to receive the treatment is a Vietnam veteran from Zeeland. Doctors say he is resting comfortably at home.
Doctor Mustapha leads the Metro Health Heart & Vascular Program. The team uses cutting-edge technology to restore circulation for patients from all over Michigan and even around the world. This new device gives those patients another option for treatment.
"Having a variety of of treatment options allows us to treat more patients who may otherwise be facing amputation," said Dr. Mustapha.
As many as 12 million Americans, most over 65 years old, suffer from PAD. Patients at high risk include those who are obese, have diabetes, heart disease or other circulatory issues. Smokers are also at a higher risk, as are African Americans and Native Americans.
Metro Health will offer free screenings for PAD on Saturday, March 22. Screenings take place from 8am to 12:30pm. To register, call (616) 242-4880. Screenings take approximately half an hour and involve taking a person's blood pressure in their arms and ankles.
Patients with leg pain only when they walk are encouraged to get a PAD screening. another indicator is wounds or open sores that have difficulty healing.