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Suction Technique Improves Arterial Surgery
It removes plaque to free up blood flow to kidneys, researchers say

FRIDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- A new vacuum-assisted technique may help unclog blocked arteries to the kidney, researchers report.

Using a suction device to remove material blocking a blood vessel can significantly improve the results for surgeons who use minimally invasive angioplasty and stenting to restore blood flow to the kidneys, researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center reported in the July Journal of Vascular Surgery.

Angioplasty involves the insertion of a balloon-like device to crush fatty deposits blocking a blood vessel. In many cases, a wire-mesh stent is also inserted to help prop the vessel open.

The study included 32 patients, average age 70. Researchers used a distal embolic protection system -- a balloon system that temporarily blocks the blood vessel -- and a suction system that removes bits of crushed material from around the blockage.

Narrowed arteries were reopened in 100 percent of the patients and mean blood pressure was reduced from 176/81 mm Hg to 158/76 mm Hg. Kidney function improved in 50 percent of the patients. None of the patients experienced decreased kidney function.

"Three to six weeks after the minimally invasive procedure, kidney function was roughly equal to what is typically achieved with major surgery," study lead author Dr. Matthew S. Edwards, assistant professor of surgery, said in a prepared statement.

"We hope this will lead to a better way to do angioplasty and stenting by preventing damage to the kidneys and improving kidney function," he said.

This study suggests that using suction along with angioplasty prevents plaque and other material that makes up blockages from reaching the kidneys and causing damage. Edwards plans to do further research.

More information

The Society for Vascular Surgery has more about angioplasty and stenting.

Copyright © 2002 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, news release, July 2006

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