DMC Heart Hospital First in World to Treat Peripheral Artery Disease Through the Wrist

Mar 7, 2018

Detroit, MI - Feb. 22, 2018: For the last several years, physicians have been able to use the wrist as an access point to open blockages in the coronary arteries that supply the heart with nutrients and oxygen. But for those suffering with peripheral artery disease (PAD), or blockages in the limbs, there were no devices long enough for physicians to reach the legs from the wrist...until now. 

Dr. Mahir Elder, Director of Endovascular Medicine at the DMC Heart Hospital, with team physicians Drs. Tamam Mohamad, Amir Kaki, Nimrod Blanke, Alap Jani and Sajid Ali were the first in the world to treat a patient with peripheral artery disease through the wrist, using a new innovative device called the Diamondback 360® Extended Length Peripheral Orbital Atherectomy Device (OAD).  Treatment of PAD from the wrist, instead of the groin, is less invasive, and often results in a better patient experience and faster recovery time, Dr. Elder explained.

PAD affects as many as 8.5 million Americans and is a circulatory condition in which narrowed and hardened blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs. With risk factors such as diabetes and obesity on the rise, the prevalence of PAD is growing at double-digit rates. Symptoms include leg pain when walking or at rest. If left untreated, PAD can lead to severe pain, immobility, non-healing wounds and eventually limb amputation. When surgery is needed, PAD can be treated by atherectomy – a minimally invasive procedure to open blocked arteries by using a device on the end of a catheter to remove built up plaque. Then, a balloon angioplasty or stent procedure is completed to restore blood flow. This procedure is frequently performed by accessing the artery through the groin; however, with this new OAD extended length technology, physicians are given an alternative access point in which the artery can be reached by going through the wrist.

“This technology is a huge win for patients,” explained Dr. Elder. “The extended length technology allows us to use the wrist as an access point to help minimize bleeding and avoid commonly diseased arteries. Most importantly, patients will experience fewer access site bleeding complications, the ability to walk less than an hour post-procedure and faster recovery with shorter hospital stays. As experts in cardiovascular and peripheral artery disease, we strive to be the best in treating these complex diseases, and offer our patients the most advanced technologies."

Dr. Tamam Mohamad, chief of cardiology at DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital, added: This device will help us deal with difficult peripheral artery disease. It will add to our mission of salvaging limbs by providing a new treatment option to patients suffering from poor circulation in their legs."

Latricia Turner, 47, of Detroit, had been suffering with PAD for more than two years. She had tried medication to relieve her leg pain, but the medications failed. Turner was still suffering with severe pain in her legs, limiting her walking. Her doctors told her due to the severity of her disease she may need a surgical bypass that could take weeks, and maybe even months to recover from. In hopes of finding another solution, she came to the DMC Heart Hospital.

On Monday, Feb. 12, Dr. Elder performed the orbital atherectomy through her wrist and Tuesday morning she was back home without even a stitch. 

The DMC Heart Hospital Medical Director of Cardiac Cath Laboratories Dr. Amir Kaki expressed: “The Heart Hospital and the cardiovascular physicians continue to be at the forefront of advances. This is another example of the leadership, expertise, and early adoption of technology that translates to clinical benefits and delivery of world class care which is second to none for the patients and community we serve.”

More information about PAD, visit

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