New Medicine Deals With Reducing Amputations

Amputations are a common problem with diabetics. Many have a problem with being able to sense their feet. If they stub their toes, they burn their feet, have cuts or sores, they don't really notice it until it's sometimes too late.

Now there's a possible alternative to amputation in Panama City, the Fox Hollow Silverhawk.

Local Vascular Surgeon DR. Bud Shuler is one of the first to offer it.

"What we're trying to do is bring awareness to patients as well as primary care providers that there is something that can be done."

Dr. Shuler is excited about a new procedure that is offering hope to diabetics and others who have poor circulation that can cause clogged arteries in their legs. The process is called arthrectomy.

Shuler says it’s is a fancy word for cutting and shaving material inside the vessel wall.

“It's kind of a rotor rooter device. It goes in and it cores out the center of the blocked artery and allows basically a new channel to carry the blood flow to the lower tissues. We started using it in the thighs. Then we've kind of taken it on beyond that to the much smaller blood vessels below the knee.”

The Silverhawk may one day do away with stents. The new device uses a tiny rotating blade about the size of a grain of rice to shave away large quantities of plaque from inside the artery.

“The plaque collects at the tip of the device and then is removed. It's a little different than just doing ballooning or stenting, which we're finding are not optimal means of treatment.”

If you'd like to know more about the Silverhawk procedure just log onto the Web site: or you can call them at 850-747-6542.