Chuck Lyons' Biggest Fear: Leg Amputation Due to Peripheral Artery Disease
It had become increasingly difficult to do many of the activities he loved.
At age 58, Chuck Lyon’s life felt like it was slowly closing in on him. After suffering from Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) for 17 years, every day his mobility seemed to decline. He could barely make it 200 feet before his left calf would tighten up, and he’d need to stop whatever he was doing.
It had become increasingly difficult to do many of the activities he loved most — fishing, hunting and playing with his grandchildren. Tackling a flight of 15 stairs to his office started to feel like climbing Mt. Everest. “If I tried to keep going, my leg would just stop working. Everyone always had to wait for me, which was sad, for them to have to put up with that,” he says.
Fearing the Worst
Chuck consulted several doctors in his hometown of Big Rapids, Michigan. They said nothing could be done and braced him for the worst — that one day he might need to amputate part of his leg to survive. His father-in-law, who also suffered from PAD, had recently endured amputation of half his leg. Chuck’s biggest fear was that he’d be next.
“They said it could help prevent people with PAD from losing their legs”
Luckily Chuck’s wife Vicky happened to hear about the Pantheris lumivascular atherectomy system on a TV show. “They said it could help prevent people with PAD from losing their legs,” Vicky said.
She immediately went to the computer and printed out research about the Pantheris tool, which removes plaque from the artery and the lumivascular procedure, which allows the doctor to see a three-dimensional view inside the artery.
They took the research to their doctor, who referred them to Dr. Thomas P. Davis, M.D., St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan. Even though Chuck previously had a stent procedure to open up his superficial femoral artery (SFA), that stent was only a temporary solution, and at the moment the SFA was completely blocked.
Prior to the Pantheris lumivascular atherectomy system, Dr. Davis explained, “It would be very dangerous to try to open up the artery, because you wouldn’t be able to see anything. It would be like coal miner going through the mines trying to get out without a light on his hat. The Pantheris tool gives you a picture and a scope that turns in a 360-degree fashion that lights up your path and makes it a lot easier for the surgeon to stay away from the artery walls and concentrate on removing the plaque.”
Both Chuck and Vicky trusted Dr. Davis’ assessment and agreed to go forward with the procedure.
A Speedy Recovery
The morning after the surgery, Dr. Davis was surprised to see that Chuck was already up and walking around the hospital at 7:00 a.m.
No one was more delighted than Chuck himself. “I could walk up steps already with very little pain and as the days went by it got better and better. I was really happy.” After spending just one night in the hospital, he felt well enough to drive himself home the next day.
Having experienced a bypass surgery years before, which required weeks of hospitalization, Chuck appreciated his speedy recovery.
A few months later, Chuck asked Dr. Davis to do the same procedure done on his right leg. “My left leg had hurt so much, I didn’t even realize my right leg was bad, too.” That procedure went equally well, and today, he’s back to hunting, fishing and can easily climb the steps to his office.
A Life Enhancer, Not a Cure
Dr. Davis emphasizes that while he sees the Pantheris system as “game changing” technology, it’s not a cure. “Since Chuck is staying active, we anticipate this procedure will last between two and five years.”
The great news is that Chuck no longer fears losing his leg. In the future, he can just come back and be re-treated if he needs to. “All of a sudden I’m walking good as new. I’m back to doing whatever I want.”
“All of a sudden I’m walking good as new. I’m back to doing whatever I want.”
If you are suffering the symptoms of peripheral artery disease or told you need an amputation, a minimally invasive Lumivascular procedure can help establish blood flow to your legs and feet. To find a Lumivascular doctor near you, click here to find a doctor.
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