Dr. Mir Ali’s Heart, Artery and Vein Institute did its first in-office peripheral arterial intervention in early August.
The outpatient procedure takes 60 to 90 minutes, plus the time to recover from sedation.
Ali said the procedure resulted in an excellent outcome, removing an arterial blockage in the patient’s leg.
“The patient cannot stop bragging about results and how convenient it was,” Ali said.
This is the first time they have offered the procedure in an outpatient setting in Payson, he said. He has always had patients go to the Valley for it and for many years it was only done in a surgical setting.
The minimally invasive procedure involves using a needle and wire, with no cutting required. Still, it is a highly advanced procedure, Ali said. It also provides access to the entire vascular tree, not the limited access found with surgical methods to remove blockages.
Ali said it took lots of hard work getting the equipment and personnel lined up to offer the procedure. He said it takes about six people on hand to do the procedure, but these are contract labor with his office. Plus, two or three other people are needed in advance to prepare for the procedure.
He said there are about 5,000 people in Gila County with arterial blockages and a majority of them are candidates for this procedure.
“This is a remarkable milestone for the town of Payson and Gila County,” Ali said.
Paul Beckwith is one of two patients to get the procedure in early August.
He said the difference it has made is night and day.
For about 10 years, he has been bothered with leg pain. It got so bad he could only walk about 50 to 70 feet before his legs felt like they were on fire.
He started seeing Ali about a year ago in November. A foot doctor referred him to the Heart, Artery and Vein Institute.
The procedure cannot be done on both legs at the same time, he explained. The first was on his left leg from the femoral artery to the knee; the second was on his right leg, from the femoral artery to the knee. He will have two more procedures to clear the blockages from each knee to the foot.
Beckwith said there was not a lot of prep needed before the procedure and it only took about an hour, plus another hour in recovery for the sedation to wear off and to make sure there was no bleeding. He went home with instructions to be cautious with his activity for a couple of days.
He can now walk greater distances without pain in his thighs, though he has noticed he needs to build up the strength in the muscles.
“All kinds of doors are opening. There really wasn’t any pain, just a little tenderness. The benefit is tremendous,” Beckwith said.