Methodist South Hospital is the first in Tennessee to use the recently FDA-cleared Ocelot system by Avinger to help patients facing Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), an unrecognized epidemic that affects between eight and 12 million adults in the U.S. and 30 million people globally.
PAD is caused by a build-up of plaque in the arteries that blocks blood flow to the legs and feet.
The Ocelot catheter, supported by the Lightbox console, allows physicians to see from inside an artery during the actual procedure, using optical coherence tomography, or OCT. In the past, operators have had to rely solely on x-ray as well as touch and/or feel to guide catheters through complicated blockages. With Ocelot, physicians can more accurately navigate through CTOs thanks to the images from inside the artery.
"This new system is very unique to use," said Dr. Dwight Dishmon, cardiologist at UTMG Cardiology. "The equipment is a marriage between an ultrasound and a CAT scan."
Ocelot is the first-ever CTO crossing catheter that uses OCT technology to access exact regions of the peripheral vasculature where the blockages occur, while simultaneously providing physicians with visualization for real-time navigation during an intervention.
Because some blockages can become so severe and difficult to penetrate with traditional catheters, patients often resort to undergo extremely invasive bypass surgeries that result in even higher health risks and lengthy, painful recoveries.
The new system helps restore blood flow in completely blocked arteries in patients' legs through a two-millimeter skin incision, helping to avoid amputation. Additionally, it is a minimally invasive treatment designed to allow patients to leave the hospital within hours, and return to normal activities within a few days.