Ultrasonic technology helps clear clogged arteries

Tech used for kidney stones is now helping clear heart arteries
Tech used for kidney stones is now helping clear heart arteries

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A technology commonly used for treating kidney stones to now helping heart specialists open clogged arteries.

Memorial Healthcare cardiologist Dr. Juan Pastor is among the first in South Florida to utilize intravascular lithotripsy, or I.V.L, to apply sonic pressure wave therapy to arteries with severe calcification.

Typically surgeons use small rotational sanding devices to shave away the plaque.

“One of the problems we see with those devices is once you start sanding or shaving the plaque, the particles start going downstream and sometimes overwhelms that drainage system by creating chest pain and small heart attacks,” Pastor said.

The shockwave approach clears the arteries without the same complexity, allowing surgeons to fully expand artery-opening stents.

Ovarian cancer study

Also in current health news, there are disappointing results from a long term, large scale study on ovarian cancer screening.

A study of 200,000 post-menopausal women in the U.K. found that ovarian cancer screening with transvaginal ultrasound alone or in combination with a specific blood test did not reduce death from the disease compared to non-screening.

While the tests did detect ovarian cancer at an earlier stage, the mortality rate was the same, which meant screening did not save lives.

The randomized trial involved women between the ages of 50-74 who were enrolled and followed over a 10-year period.


About the Authors: