A diabetic since his mid-40s, Melvin Fox was accustomed to the debilitating side effects of his disease. But when a non-healing ulcer on his foot led to a severe circulatory problem, the 68-year-old retired businessman was faced with the amputation of both of his legs below the knees. After consulting with his family physician, Fox found his way to the offices of Dr. Shan-E-Ali Haider of the Horizon Surgical Group. Dr. Haider, says Mr Fox, agreed to treat him using a new technique that is literally revolutionizing vascular surgery. Today, Melvin Fox says he’s “90 percent healed,” and grateful that such a progressive treatment was available locally.
Not so long ago, patients like Mr Fox who needed treatment for complex circulatory conditions required open surgery. Today, such patients are benefitting from a far less invasive technique that allows surgeons to literally operate on arteries and veins from the inside out. Available at FMH, these procedures have had a major impact on the treatment of artery and vein disorders, aneurysms, carotid and kidney artery blockages and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
In the specially-equipped Imaging Operating Suite at FMH, surgeons like Dr. Haider use state-of-the-art imaging techniques and a diagnostic procedure called angiography to determine the location and severity of blockages in the arteries or veins. Through a small puncture wound—usually in the groin– the surgeon threads a deflated balloon to the critical spot where the blood vessel has narrowed. At this point, the balloon is inflated, opening up the blockage. Sometimes, a small metal sheath called a stent is inserted to hold the vessel open.
“When I began my career as a vascular surgeon,” said Dr. Haider, “an operation to open and repair a blocked artery typically involved a patient stay of up to 7 days—and 4-5 days of that was in Intensive Care. Today, 80 to 85 percent of the patients I treat arrive for their procedures in the morning, and are discharged that evening. Occasionally, we may keep a patient overnight for monitoring, but the vast majority go home the same day.”