Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Limb Sparing Procedure Saves Patient’s Leg
By: Lindsesy Allumbaugh
Two winters ago, Kevin Glandon faced a prognosis of an amputation of his left leg due to poor circulation from peripheral artery disease. Kevin is married with three children and works in the nuclear power industry as a principal engineer. This role requires routine travel to the plant sites and walking in the field. “A good part of my jobs requires me to be mobile,” he says.
Arterial disease also affects Kevin’s heart. At the age of 48, stents were placed in his heart arteries because of severe cholesterol build up. Unfortunately, his stents did not remain open, and over a 4 year period he underwent multiple stenting procedures to improve the blood flow to his heart. Ultimately, at age 52, Kevin required bypass surgery.
Concurrently, Kevin was suffering from leg pain as the cholesterol build up in his legs progressed. “In my late thirties, I started having cramps in my left calf,” says Kevin. “Over the years, exercise became a significant challenge because of the poor circulation in my legs.” Similar to what took place in his heart, multiple stents were placed in the arteries of his legs, but these stents failed to stay open. He thus underwent bypass surgery on his left leg to improve the blood flow to his lower leg and foot. It lasted seven months. Doctors then attempted a second bypass, but it only lasted four days. He was then told there was no other option to improve the flow to his left leg, and he would likely need an amputation.
In a final effort to save Kevin’s leg, his primary Cardiologist consulted Christopher Huff, M.D., an Interventional Cardiologist at CVA and Brookwood Baptist Medical Center who specializes in complex peripheral arterial disease and amputation prevention. Dr. Huff reviewed Kevin’s medical record and scheduled a procedure with Kevin for the following day. “Dr. Huff worked for six hours cleaning out the blockage,” says Kevin. “I was awake the whole time and was just in awe of him. He stuck in there with me and worked tirelessly until he and his team restored blood flow back to my natural artery in my lower leg and foot.”
“Without Dr. Huff, I would have lost my leg and it would have been an incredible impact to me and my family,” says Kevin. “I’m blown away by his dedication to my care and the knowledge he brought to the table.” Since the procedure, Kevin sees Dr. Huff for periodic assessments to see how impacted the blood flow is and if needed, Dr. Huff goes into the artery to clean it back out. “I don’t have muscle cramping now and I’m able to walk,” he says.
Kevin is so grateful for what Dr. Huff has done for him and he wants to share his story with others that might be going through the same situation as he did two years ago. “Dr. Huff has said there are so many amputations happening because of PAD and it could have been me,” he says. “Listen to your body. Prevention is the key for something like this. Dr. Huff could help save limbs for people in a situation like mine.
“I can’t say enough about his skills, capability and dedication for his craft,” says Kevin. “Talk about a blessing, Dr. Huff is mine.”