Willis-Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute First to Offer Drug-Eluting Vascular Stent in the State

Oct 22, 2018

William B. Eaves, IIThe state’s first Eluvia drug-eluting stent was implanted by William B. Eaves II, MD, interventional cardiologist with Willis-Knighton Cardiology, on Friday, Oct. 12. The procedure was performed at Willis-Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute’s cath lab at WK Bossier Health Center.

The Eluvia drug-eluting stent is a new treatment option for patients suffering from peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD occurs when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries, making them narrower, thus restricting blood flow.  When this occurs, the muscles in the legs cannot get enough blood and oxygen, especially during exertion such as exercise and walking. As the disease progresses, plaque accumulation may significantly reduce blood flow through the arteries, resulting in pain and increasing disability with severe cases often leading to amputation of the affected limb.

It is estimated that 8.5 million Americans over age 40 are affected by peripheral artery disease.  

The drug-eluting stent is designed to restore blood flow in the peripheral arteries above the knee, including the superficial femoral artery and proximal popliteal artery. It features a unique drug-polymer combination intended to facilitate sustained release of the drug (paclitaxel) that can prevent narrowing of the vessel. The polymer-based drug delivery on the Eluvia stent has proven biocompatibility and safety. I HAS been implanted in more than 20 million vessels with more than 100,000 patients studied in clinical trials.

When caught early PAD may be treated with medications, diet, exercise and smoking cessation.