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EIGHT, ARIZONA PBS TO PREMIERE THE LATEST PROCEDURE: ENDOVASCULAR LEG THERAPIES FEATURING A LIVE ENDOVASCULAR TREATMENT OF PERIPHERAL ARTERY STENOSIS

Award-winning medical series to air one-hour broadcast on peripheral artery disease and limb preservation to deter national epidemic


PHOENIX -- (September 3, 2013) Eight, Arizona PBS hopes to encourage patients across the United States to research and understand the risk factors of a sweeping national epidemic during its premiere broadcast of The Latest Procedure: Endovascular Leg Therapies on Monday, September 30. The documentary will take viewers into an operating room to witness live endovascular treatment options of leg artery stenosis, which are less invasive than previous options for this condition.

This newest episode of Eight’s The Latest Procedure series will discuss subjects such as the causes of peripheral artery disease (PAD, also sometimes known by the more general name PVD, peripheral vascular disease), the economic impact, diabetes, present and future PAD treatments including non-surgical therapies and limb preservation treatments with Dr. John Pacanowski, Dr. Luis Leon, and Dr. Miguel Montero of the Tucson Medical Center and Pima Vascular, along with host Jim Cissell. Dr. Pacanowski and his colleagues performed endovascular, catheter-based therapies including small intraluminal cutting devices (atherectomy), balloon angioplasty, and stent implantation. The physicians also utilized new techniques like pedal access (delivery of devices via the foot), blockage crossing catheters (crossers), and ultrasound-guided vessel access.

PAD is caused by blockages in blood vessels that decrease blood flow to the legs and feet, and nearly 18 million U.S. citizens suffer from it. In later stages it can cause lower extremity wounds or sores that won't heal, darkening skin, muscle pain, swelling, cramping, numbness in patient’s feet or legs, or in 180,000 cases annually in the U.S. alone, limb amputation, according to The Sage Group, a research and consulting company specializing in blood vessel disease of the lower limbs.  In addition, research shows an alarmingly increased mortality rate of amputee patients, with most patients seeing their normal lifespan decreased by 50 percent.

The documentarywill also inform patients of some of the risk factors for PAD, including diabetes, tobacco use, age, diet, and high blood pressure or cholesterol levels. The good news is that in many cases, addressing these blockages at their early stages can ease or even eliminate uncomfortable lower leg complications and the need for amputation.

The economic burden of PAD on the country’s medical system is staggering. A recent study concludes that four million diabetics in the U.S. suffer with foot ulcers from compromised vasculature, with medical treatments on this patient population representing $70-$80 billion.

“Eight’s goal with The Latest Procedure: Endovascular Leg Therapies is to push patients to be smarter healthcare consumersand better caretakers of their bodies as they increasingly assume a greater proportion of their own healthcare costs,” says Eight, Arizona PBS General Manager Kelly McCullough.

The Latest Procedure: Endovascular Leg Therapies marks the third episode of Eight’s locally produced series joining award-winning TLP: Anterior Hip Replacement and the more recent TLP: Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. Each program will also be offered on-demand via the extensive Eight website, where they can be viewed anytime. The online component of the series, www.azpbs.org/procedure/, also offers additional in-depth information about the disease and the latest available treatments, medical questionnaires, and other resources, free of charge, and accessible 24/7.

About Eight, Arizona PBS

Eight, Arizona PBS is a trusted community resource. For 50 years, the PBS station has focused on educating children, reporting in-depth on public affairs, fostering lifelong learning and celebrating arts and culture. Eight achieves its mission through the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach and community-based initiatives. Its signal reaches 86 percent of the homes in Arizona. With more than 1 million viewers weekly, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. For more information, visit azpbs.org.

Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.