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New therapy for blocked arteries creates buzz in cardiovascular community


Nov 21, 2023

According to Dr. Peter Soukas, the director of the peripheral vascular interventional laboratory at The Miriam Hospital, Cardiac Shockwave Therapy is the most significant breakthrough in the cardiovascular space in the last decade. The treatment, now FDA approved, has been instrumental in addressing calcium blockages in coronary and leg arteries.

One person who has benefited from this therapy is Bruce Barton. He vividly remembers the cramps and restricted movement he experienced due to multiple blocked arteries caused by calcium in his left leg. Faced with the possibility of losing a toe, foot, or part of his leg, Barton had tried conventional treatments multiple times, but they all failed. His doctors in Boston eventually told him there was nothing else they could do.

However, there was an alternative – Cardiac Shockwave Therapy, also known as intravascular lithotripsy, which is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses high-frequency ultrasonic waves to break up calcium blockages in arteries. Dr. Soukas explained that the therapy creates cracks and fissures in the calcified plaques, allowing for other treatments, such as drug-coated balloons or stents, to provide extended durability of the outcome.

The Miriam Hospital in Providence, where Dr. Soukas works, has been involved in clinical trials for shockwave treatment since 2017 and has seen impressive results. The hospital was the first in the Northeast to use the therapy and has since performed over 500 cases. The FDA has approved Cardiac Shockwave Therapy, and patients have been traveling from as far as Michigan to receive this treatment.

Barton is a prime example of the success of this therapy. He went from barely being able to walk 100 yards to being able to walk about three miles. Cardiac Shockwave Therapy has brought about a remarkable change in his quality of life.

By Editor

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