Date: 4/15/2011

Community Hospital among first to use new Stealth device to treat PAD

The Stealth 360º is the latest device used to perform a minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of PAD, restoring blood flow to the legs and helping patients return to normal activities sooner.

Cardiology patients at Community Hospital in Munster are benefiting from a new shorter procedure to treat peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Community Hospital is one of only six hospitals in the U.S. to use a new minimally invasive device used in arteries to remove plaque and restore blood flow to limbs.

Over the past two years, there have been new treatment options for PAD, and physicians on staff at the hospitals of Community Healthcare System have been among the first to introduce many of them. One such expert on staff is Prakash Makam, M.D., interventional cardiologist and medical director of cardiovascular research for Community Healthcare System. At Community Hospital in Munster, 75 year-old Highland resident Thomas Brosseau was the first patient that Makam performed the procedure on using the Stealth 360º™ Orbital PAD System. The Stealth is a minimally invasive catheter device used to restore blood flow to tissue that is at-risk for amputation.

Years ago, Brosseau had stents placed in both legs, but calcium had built up once again, making it painful to walk and perform everyday tasks.

“I consider myself fairly active with a ‘honey-do and daddy-do’ list that keeps a retired guy like me busy,” Brosseau said. “But three months ago I was having intense pain in my left leg below the knee. I couldn’t walk. After a two hour-long procedure the morning of April 6, I was sent home that afternoon — same day. Now I’m 100 percent better. I’m very happy with it. I plan to have the right leg done later this month.”

“The new Stealth 360º is as quick and simple to set up as a balloon or stent to open the arteries,” said Makam. The device provides effective treatment for the entire leg, including the smaller, more narrow vessels below the knee that are critical to achieving blood flow to the foot, he said.

More than 17 million people suffer from PAD in the United States, which occurs when plaque buildup in the peripheral arteries — usually in the lower leg — blocks blood flow. Symptoms include leg pain and cramps while walking or at rest, and tissue loss that can lead to limb amputation. Many patients with PAD also have diabetes or high blood pressure, like Brosseau, or other conditions such as obesity or renal disorders that can increase risk for PAD.

The Stealth 360º is the latest device used to perform orbital atherectomy for the treatment of PAD. The procedure uses a small, diamond-coated crown designed to remove even the toughest kind of plaque without damaging the arteries. This offers new hope to patients with disease in small arteries, or those with plaque that has become hardened, calcified.

The treatment is a minimally invasive procedure; some patients are able to go home the same day while others stay overnight for observation. The device is inserted into the patient’s leg artery through a tiny puncture made in the groin. A small catheter and guide wire are used to direct the device to the location of the plaque in the artery.

“The new Stealth 360º device is different in that it provides better control while removing plaque because of its design,” Makam said. “Unlike older models of orbital devices, the Stealth 360º features an electric-powered handle with an on-off switch and speed selection controls at my fingertips. Without a compressed air tank for operation or separate speed controller that needs to be set up ahead of the procedure, the Stealth 360º significantly reduces time for our patients and staff in the cath lab.”

This benefits our patients by reducing their procedure time and ultimately getting them back to their normal activities sooner, Makam said.

“We are making real advances in the treatment of PAD that will lead to fewer amputations and a better quality of life for so many people,” he said.

For more information on PAD and cardiovascular research offered through the hospitals of Community Healthcare System, visit