A revolutionary therapy may save severe blood flow patients from life-altering amputation.
LimFlow is a new procedure that treats critical limb ischemia, a form of blood vessel disease in which blockages in the arteries cut off blood flow to the legs and feet.
This lifestyle-related disease requires 5,000 UK amputations per year.
However, according to a U.S. study, with LimFlow, three-quarters of patients retain their legs.
As part of an ongoing trial, approximately thirty NHS patients have already received the treatment, in which surgeons insert small tubes into the leg to redirect blood flow around the obstructions and restore supply to the foot. Because of its efficacy, three NHS hospitals have asked to continue using the technology.
Within two years, according to experts, it could be available throughout the NHS.
Dr. Mehdi Shishehbor, a cardiologist at the Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, who headed the US study, describes LimFlow as a novel alternative to major amputation that offers hope where none existed before. The results of this study are outstanding, and it is evident that LimFlow is a potent tool for preventing amputation.
In the United Kingdom, critical limb ischemia affects approximately 60,000 individuals annually. Over time, lipid deposits narrow leg arteries, lowering blood flow to the legs and feet. This slows the healing of incisions and ulcers and increases the likelihood of life-threatening infections.
Treatments like putting a stent, a tiny mesh conduit, into the artery to widen it often fail.
Under local anesthetic, LimFlow implants two tubes into the patient, one through the groyne and one through the ankle. When the tubes meet at the site of the obstruction, they are connected, allowing blood to flow around the deposits.