"Cool" Laser for Blocked Arteries

"Cool" Laser for Blocked Arteries
By:  Wendy Ray
Anyone who has blocked arteries in their lower legs knows how painful the condition can be and if it's not taken care of, it could lead to amputation. Until now. A new cool laser is available to treat this common condition, and it's available at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center.
The CLiRpath cool laser helps people who have Critical Limb Ischemia or CLI, the most severe form of peripheral arterial disease. Interventional cardiologist Donald Voelker says the CLiRpath laser treatment clears blocked leg arteries caused by CLI. "The laser works by emitting ultraviolet bursts of energy that tends to pulse at a high rate and it actually vaporizes the material it touches," Dr. Voelker says. Improving circulation.
Dr. Voelker says in the past balloons and stents were used to open blockages, but he says stents can block up and there really was no good therapy for blockages below the knees. Dr. H.K. Reddy also performs the CLiRpath procedure. "This laser technology makes it possible to prevent or avoid amputations because of the opening of the blockages," he says. CLI is common affecting one million people in the U.S. each year, nearly one hundred thousand of them have amputations. "Most commonly it's smokers with diabetes, obesity, a history of coronary heart disease," Dr. Voelker says.
Dr. Voelker and Dr. Reddy also use the CLiRpath procedure to get rid of blood clots in the heart