© 2024 WVIK
Listen at 90.3 FM and 98.3 FM in the Quad Cities, 95.9 FM in Dubuque, or on the WVIK app!
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Doctors perform first-ever treatment in the Quad Cities

The procedure was performed at UnityPoint Health hospital in Bettendorf.
UnityPoint Health
The procedure was performed at UnityPoint Health hospital in Bettendorf.

Doctors at a Bettendorf hospital recently performed a first-ever treatment for a common disease.

Peripheral arterial disease, or P.A.D., is caused by fatty plaque in a person's arteries, reducing blood flow to their arms and legs.

A global study is underway to test a new implantable treatment for the disease. It's a kind of stent, which is a small tube used to hold blood vessels open. Cardiologist Nicolas Shammas performed the first implant procedure for the study, right here in the Quad Cities.

"What's new, really, about the technology is the way the stent is designed and the way the cover is placed on the stent," he said.

"The cover has multiple purposes that we think, at least theoretically, is maybe an advantage, such as preventing additional blockages from reccurring at the site of the treatment, possibly preventing plaque breaking loose and migrating downstream to the lower extremities."

James Kahnert, a 70-year old man from Muscatine, is now the first person in the world to receive the treatment. He says, even though it's only been a couple of months, his quality of life has improved.

"I actually cut the grass in my backyard and was able to do so without taking any breaks," he said. "Last summer, I would have to take at least two breaks to rest and allow the pain in my legs to subside before continuing, so that was a real win for me."

Doctors will monitor his progress over the next three years. The study will include over 300 patients around the world.

Shammas says stopping smoking, exercising and eating a balanced diet are ways to lower your risk of P.A.D..

Rachel graduated from Michigan State University's J-School and has a background in broadcast and environmental journalism. Before WVIK, she worked for WKAR Public Media, Great Lakes Now, and more. In her free time, she likes to cook, hike, and hang out with her cat.