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St. John Providence Launches New Critical Limb Clinic

St. John Providence Health System
Cardiac Care
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

St. John Providence Launches New Critical Limb Clinic

Media Contact: Brian Taylor, 586-753-0726.

A clinic designed specifically for patients that are at risk of losing limbs as a result poor blood flow in their legs has been created by St. John Providence Health. The new St. John Providence Critical Limb Clinic is designed to evaluate and treat patients with critical limb Ischemia.

Ischemia is an insufficient blood supply to a part of the body due to blockage. When an insufficient blood supply takes place in the lower extremities, it can lead to critical limb ischemia or CLI. CLI is a serious condition that is often accompanied by pain in the calves or thighs. It must be treated quickly in order to re-establish the blood supply. If left untreated, CLI can lead to tissue death and limb loss.

“At the St. John Providence Critical Limb Clinic we regularly save limbs that would otherwise have been lost due to this serious disease. Patients come to us when they have been told they need an amputation and that there are no other options,” states Dr. Tom Davis, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and director of Peripheral Interventions and Disease at St. John Hospital and Medical Center.

CLI can be found in patients with coronary artery disease and those with cardiovascular disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and high cholesterol. The prevalence of CLI also increases with age.

“It should also be noted that up to 50 percent of patients report no symptoms despite the presence of severe blockages in one or both of their limbs. These blockages can lead to a risk of amputation, but that does not have to be the outcome,” states Dr. Patrick Alexander, Providence Hospital cardiologist with advanced training in the treatment of patients with severe complex CLI.

Due to the high risk for limb loss, it is important that CLI patients receive care from experienced physicians that offer the most advanced and effective treatments.

St. John Providence Critical Limb Clinic physicians are board certified with advanced training in the treatment of patients with CLI and severe complex Peripheral Arterial Disease. They are leaders in treating CLI using advanced technology and devices to remove plaque and open arteries that others have thought to be “non-accessible”.

The goal of the SJP Critical Limb Clinic is to re-establish micro-vascular blood supply in areas of the legs that are often thought to be un-treatable. This expertise is the reason why St. John Providence physicians are relied upon for second opinions. We work to improve the quality of life in those with lifestyle limiting claudication (leg/calf muscle pain while walking), as well as sparing limbs for those with non-healing ulcers and/or gangrene facing amputation of one or both limbs. In addition our physicians are also involved in research trials regarding the latest advances in CLI devices and procedures.

The most common symptoms of critical limb ischemia include:

  • Pain in the legs and feet when at rest and not moving (also called "ischemic rest pain")
  • Sores or infections on the legs and feet that won't heal
  • Faint or absent pulse in the leg or foot below the blockage

A wide variety of minimally invasive treatment options are available at the Critical Limb Clinic and include the traditional approaches of angioplasty, stenting, and atherectomy; along with proven new and innovative techniques such as Ocelot lumivascular technology and Ultrasound guided retrograde tibial-pedal access and wire manipulation.

If you are a patient and have been told that you may require an amputation; or if you are experiencing the symptoms listed above, please contact the St. John Providence Critical Limb Clinic at 866-501-DOCS (3627) to schedule an appointment.