"I felt that way, that I had weights on my legs. It was hard. And then there was pain," Gertrude says.
One look at her angiogram showed doctors why. Three main arteries in her legs are blocked with plaque, similar to a slow, continuous heart attack in the leg. Left untreated, peripheral artery disease causes sores and eventually amputation of a foot or leg.
But now with the Turbo Booster laser, doctors are shaving off large chunks of plaque in the arteries above the knees. The Turbo Booster vaporizes blockages into tiny particles absorbed into the blood stream.
"Now that we have this Turbo Booster, it allows us to cut in multiple planes a channel through that artery and essentially remove a lot more plaque," says Mason Weiss, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Centinela Freeman Hospital in Inglewood, Calif.
Short term? Blood flow is restored. Wounds heal. Pain disappears. Long term? Doctors don't know yet. They hope removing plaque rather than pushing it aside with a stent will offer longer-lasting results.
Gertrude is back on her feet, slowly training for another trip abroad. Next stop -- legs willing -- Greece.
The turbo-booster is available nationwide to treat peripheral artery disease. Early warning signs of PAD include pain in the hips, thighs or calf muscles and numbness or tingling in the legs, feet or toes.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Dr. Mason Weiss
Centinela Freeman Hospital
Inglewood, CA 90301