Choosing a healthcare provider to treat your vascular disease is important. Our Heart and Vascular Institute offers some of the latest surgical procedures, such as atherectomy, to reduce peripheral artery disease symptoms. Learn more about this procedure and how our cardiovascular care team can help you take charge of your heart and vascular health.

Committed to Care for Your Heart, for Life

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 6.5 million people aged 40 and older in the United States have peripheral artery disease (PAD). The cause of PAD is atherosclerosis. If you have this condition, you risk developing coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease, which could lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Getting your heart in shape may not be something you can do on your own. At Carondelet Health Network, you can count on our hospitals to help you get the right people and treatments to care for your heart and vascular health. We treat a range of cardiovascular diseases, including PAD. 

Our focus is to provide the communities in southern Arizona with a full spectrum of high-quality and cost-effective cardiovascular care from diagnosis to treatment to rehabilitation.

The Carondelet Health Network of hospitals includes:

What Is Atherectomy Procedure?

An atherectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that removes plaque from the artery. Plaque is a substance made up of fat and cholesterol that can clog or cause arteries to narrow.

In atherectomy, a catheter with tiny rotating blades or a laser is inserted into the blocked artery to allow surgeons to cut, collect and remove plaque buildup from the blood vessel. Removing plaque increases blood flow through the blocked artery. The procedure can also be used in carotid arteries (major neck arteries leading to the brain) to remove plaque and reduce the risk of stroke.

An atherectomy is a peripheral artery disease treatment option when medications and lifestyle changes aren't enough to treat PAD symptoms.

Are you a candidate for an atherectomy procedure to treat peripheral artery disease? Fill out our referral request form, and we'll provide you with helpful information about our heart and vascular doctors and assist you in making an appointment.

How the Image-Guided Atherectomy Works

Unlike angioplasty and stenting, other treatments push plaque to the side; this system involves cutting and removing the plaque from the artery. Additionally, this treatment lets physicians see inside the artery during the procedure through a video camera on the device’s tip. In the past, physicians relied solely on X-rays and touch and feel guidance from their tools during the procedure.

What Is Peripheral Artery Disease?

Peripheral artery disease occurs when the peripheral arteries are clogged or narrowed, caused by the buildup of fatty plaque on the walls of the arteries that carry blood away from the heart to the arms and legs. Severe PAD can cause tissue to die, leading to amputation of the foot or leg.

What Is the Primary Symptom of Peripheral Artery Disease?

The most common lower-extremity PAD symptom is intermittent painful muscle cramping in the hips, thighs or calves when walking, climbing stairs or exercising. Other symptoms of peripheral artery disease include:

  • Leg pain that doesn't go away when you stop exercising
  • Foot or toe wounds that won't heal or heal very slowly
  • Gangrene or dead tissue
  • A significant decrease in the temperature of a lower leg or foot
  • Poor nail growth on the toes or hair growth on the legs
  • Erectile dysfunction, especially in men with diabetes

However, many people with PAD have no symptoms or dismiss leg pain for arthritis, sciatica or typical signs of aging.

The risk factors that raise the chance of developing PAD are the same as those for coronary heart disease and carotid artery disease. Some of the risk factors that put you at a higher risk for PAD include:

  • Age 65 and older
  • Age 50 to 64 with risk factors for atherosclerosis
  • Less than 50 with Type 2 diabetes
  • Personal or family history of PAD, cardiovascular disease or stroke
  • Race or ethnicity - African Americans are more likely to have complications of PAD as well as American Indian women

There are other PAD risk factors that you can control or manage, such as:

  • Cigarette smoking - people who smoke have almost three times the risk of developing PAD as well as those who regularly breathe in secondhand smoke
  • Type 2 diabetes - having uncontrolled diabetes can put you at risk for PAD and other cardiovascular conditions
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Not getting enough physical activity
  • Stress - can make your arteries tighten and narrow
  • Unhealthy eating habits and patterns

Why Choose Carondelet Health Network Hospitals for Your Heart and Vascular Care?

PAD can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke and transient ischemic attack. However, 4 in 10 people with PAD have no leg pain. The good news is that if you or someone you know has PAD or is at risk of developing this condition, doctors can diagnose PAD with a physical exam and heart and imaging tests to prevent further complications.

Carondelet Health Network offers an innovative image-guided atherectomy technology that allows physicians to see and remove plaque simultaneously to restore proper blood flow to the arms and legs.

We are here to help navigate your journey to better heart and vascular health with the technology, facilities and experience to help you explore treatment options that work best for you.

Our vast network of experienced cardiologists and dedicated staff provide cardiovascular care and exceptional health care with a heart for people.&

Carondelet Health Network includes and offers:

  • Structural Heart and Valve Centers
  • Cardiovascular Imaging
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery Program
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Cardiopulmonary Program
  • Electrophysiology Program
  • Heart Failure Program
  • Interventional Cardiology Program
  • Endovascular Invention and Vascular Surgery Program
  • Women's Heart Services

Learn more about our range of heart and vascular services here.

Insurances Accepted and Payment Plan Options

Now is a good time to put your cardiovascular health first. At Carondelet Health Network, we'll provide you with all the information you need upfront, including financial obligations, to help you make healthcare decisions.

We have increased our flexible payment plan options to help you make payment arrangements that fit your budget. We offer payment plan options for most treatments and procedures. Check out our pricing information and estimates page to prepare your costs and options for a treatment or procedure.

When you're ready to start your journey to a healthier heart and vascular health, we work with various medical insurance carriers and convenient bill payment options to help make it possible for you to get the high-quality care you need. Please call us at 520-872-7100 to know more about our accepted health insurance plans. Call 833-850-5053 or watch this video to learn how we make healthcare more affordable. 

If you have an upcoming procedure or surgery you've been putting off, our dedicated staff is ready to address your questions and help make financial arrangements. Please visit our patient financial resources page to learn about our insurance, billing, payment plans, pricing information and estimates.

Find a Cardiologist in Tucson, AZ

As with most conditions, treatment for heart and vascular diseases works best with prevention and early detection. Carondelet Health Network is here to help you understand your risk and explore treatment options if you already have a diagnosis.

We're here for you always with safe and compassionate care. Please call 866-514-5902 or click here to find a heart doctor. If you or someone has signs of heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Please don't delay care.

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