New laser system treats artery disease

 July 13, 2017

A breakthrough made by a San Antonio doctor could help thousands of people here in Bexar County and throughout South Texas.

It’s a device that is blasting away microscopic blockages in your body.

The Metropolitan Health District says one out of seven adults in Bexar County have been diagnosed with diabetes.

That’s higher than the state and national average.

Doctors say diabetes can often lead to Peripheral Artery Disease.

“A lot of peripheral artery disease, a lot of diabetes in this town,” said Dr. Charles Bailey, an interventional cardiologist of Heart Endovascular & Rhythm of Texas.

P.A.D. is like when a beaver builds a dam on a river. Blockages form in arteries and restrict blood flow.

If left untreated, doctors say it can lead to amputation.

“Our amputation rates are way too high,” said Bailey.

Bailey believes an innovative laser system can slow down diabetic amputations

“The hard part is how do you get through the beaver dam?” said Bailey. “That’s what this device is offering us it’s a

n alternative to the current methods we have for getting through the beaver dam.”

It’s called the DABRA system.

Bailey says the laser vaporizes blockages in the lower vessels and minimizes downstream debris.

It’s not a permanent fix, but bailey says this new system will hopefully slow down the progression of diabetic amputations.

The system is now going into trials for coronary arteries.

Dr. bailey estimates the DABRA system could see widespread use in a couple years.


Written by Zack Hedrick, News 4 San Antonio