Westlake Surgeon is First in Northeast Ohio to Treat Peripheral Arterial Disease with New Stent Graft

West Side Hospital Surgeon Leads in Cardiovascular Care Innovation with use of Balloon-Expandable Stent Graft Designed to Keep Heavily Clogged Iliac Arteries Open
Christopher Smith, MD

Christopher Smith, MD

The University Hospitals Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute at UH St. John Medical Center and its vascular physicians are the first in the region and among the first in the nation to restore blood flow to patients’ clogged arteries using a new device designed specifically for a part of the body that can be difficult to treat.

“Peripheral arterial disease can severely impact individuals’ quality of life,” said Christopher Smith, MD, a vascular surgeon at University Hospitals and UH St. John Medical Center. “Restricted blood flow due to blockages, or lesions, in the iliac arteries that lead to the legs can lead to numbness or painful cramping in the legs, sexual dysfunction, difficulty walking or rapid muscle tiring, and even gangrene and amputation. We continue to elevate and enhance our cardiovascular care offerings with this new way in which to treat these blockages in a minimally invasive way.”

There are many risk factors associated with peripheral arterial disease, including smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure, among other factors. In fact, the iliac artery tends to be more highly calcified in comparison to other vessels, and stents require greater radial strength and flexibility to restore blood flow to a patient’s legs.

Dr. Smith is among a select group of leaders in their fields who have been first to be able to provide the GORE® VIABAHN® VBX Balloon Expandable Endoprosthesis (VBX Stent Graft) to patients. The VBX Stent Graft is the first balloon expandable stent graft to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for treatment of iliac lesions. Now physicians have a VBX Stent Graft indicated for iliac occlusive disease.

“This is a significant improvement over previous stent technologies available for this specific application and, as part of the UH Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute, we will continue to make the best therapies available to our patients in the community,” said Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith continues to advance the care of patients with peripheral arterial disease by utilizing leading-edge technologies with clinical tested results.

“Dr. Smith and his team are to be congratulated for great patient care, as illustrated in this example,” said Dr. Vik Kashyap, Division Chief, Vascular Surgery – UH Cleveland Medical Center. “Bringing innovative technologies that help our patients in Northeast Ohio is a key goal for all of our members in the Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute Vascular Center. We strive to help patients with vascular disease using the least invasive and durable solutions.”


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