Vascular Surgeons Use Innovative Treatments to Help Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease

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Specialized treatments can save lives – and limbs.

Dr. Jorge Rey is a vascular surgeon at the University of Miami Health System. For information about vascular surgery, click here.

MEET DAVID RASKA:

When David Raska had cramps in his leg that wouldn’t go away, his wife Nanette knew there was something wrong.

“He came home with a sore on his foot,” Nanette Raska says.

David, a diabetic, eventually couldn’t feel his foot and wound up in the hospital.

Dr. Jorge Rey, a vascular surgeon at UHealth, says PAD affects blood flow to the limbs.

“Usually, if somebody has peripheral artery disease, you can start by having some pain when you walk,” says Jorge Rey, M.D. “Unfortunately, he started with an ulcer on his toe, and he ended up developing gangrene.”

“It could be a result of smoking. It could be a result of disbalances in a diet. A patient can accumulate plaque in the vessels,” Dr. Rey says. “We can fix arteries; we can fix veins. We can use minimally invasive techniques.”

The blockage in David’s leg was so bad doctors thought they would have to amputate.

“We were forced to do a major reconstruction of the entire circulation of his lower extremities,” says Dr. Rey. “Fortunately, we were able to do that using his own vein. He actually did really well.”

David and his wife are thankful to Dr. Rey and the team of specialists at UHealth for saving his leg.

“They're organized. They follow up,” says David.

“The fact that they didn't give up. They did not give up,” Nanette says.