Skip to Content

Committed to Safety: As we resume services, we are taking all necessary precautions to keep you safe while we care for you. Limited visitation is now in place. Review all our visitor policies and precautions. Get more information on COVID-19.

Published on November 13, 2014

Drug Coated Balloon Promises to Keep People on Their Feet Longer

Alamance Regional Medical Center is first in the state to use the device to treat peripheral vascular disease.

 

Greensboro— Stevie Gilliam doesn’t take walking for granted anymore. “My leg used to just hurt and swell, even if I walked only a short distance,” says Gilliam. “It got to the point where I didn’t want to walk at all.”

Going for a walk is no longer a problem thanks to a new treatment at Alamance Regional Medical Center. Gilliam was diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease or PAD. He came to Alamance Regional Medical Center and became one of the first people in the state to be treated with a Lutonix® coated balloon catheter. The device was just approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration last month, and Alamance Regional Medical Center was first in the state to use it.

“Peripheral vascular disease happens when a blood vessel in the arms or legs narrows due to a build-up of plaque—much like the process that often happens in the heart,” says Gregory Schnier, MD, board-certified vascular surgeon with Alamance Vein and Vascular Surgery. This reduction in the flow of blood can lead to pain, swelling, numbness in the legs or feet, and leg cramps. One treatment option is to return the flow of blood to the affected leg muscles. “We inflate a small balloon in the blood vessel to push the narrow area wide once more. Sometimes we insert a wire-mesh tube, called a stent, to try and keep the area open. But just like in heart work, we worry about the vessel narrowing again.”

The Lutonix balloon catheter is built to prevent the vessel from narrowing again. It is coated with a medication designed to stop the narrowing that can send patients back for repeat procedures. “The new balloon has the potential to result in fewer interventions, fewer stents and longer lasting interventions for patients with PAD,” says Schnier. “We’re able to provide state-of-the-art care right here close to home for the people in our community.”

Wellness Matters

Health tips and wellness videos from Cone Health providers.

  • What to Do If You Have Osteoarthritis

    What to Do if You Have Osteoarthritis

    According to Joshua Landau, MD, a Greensboro orthopedic surgeon and member of the Cone Health Medical and Dental staff, while there is no cure for osteoarthritis, symptoms can be managed.
    September 18, 2020
  • Do You Know These 3 Key Facts About Sickle Cell Disease?

    Do You Know These 3 Key Facts About Sickle Cell Disease?

    Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited condition that changes the shape of red blood cells, which can prevent oxygen from spreading effectively throughout your body. SCD can lead to serious symptoms like anemia, chronic pain, tissue damage and jaundice – but with proper care and treatment, people living with sickle cell disease can manage the condition and live long, healthy lives.
    September 16, 2020
  • Returning to Sports After Knee Surgery

    Returning to Sports After Knee Surgery

    While the time it can take to return to sports after knee surgery varies, it is important to follow doctor’s orders, according to Stephen Lucey, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Greensboro and member of the Cone Health Medical and Dental Staff.
    September 14, 2020
  • Weight Loss Surgery: Jennifer Parker's Journey

    Weight Loss Surgery: Jennifer Parker's Journey

    “Today, after losing more than 100 lbs. in just over a year, I have a confidence and feeling of self-worth that’s completely different than what I’ve had for most of my life,” says Jennifer Parker, 41, of Kings Mountain. “I see such a positive shift in myself that it makes me sad for the old me.”
    September 9, 2020