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Terrebonne General and CIS are First in the Gulf South to Use the New FDA-Approved Esprit™ System to Treat Artery Disease Below the Knee

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  • Written By: Rhonda Alfred
Terrebonne General and CIS are First in the Gulf South to Use the New FDA-Approved Esprit™ System to Treat Artery Disease Below the Knee

Terrebonne General Health System (Terrebonne General) and Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS) are the first in the Gulf South and only one of five in the country to use the new FDA-approved Esprit™ BTK (Below the Knee) Everolimus Eluting Resorbable Scaffold System, a first-of-its-kind dissolvable stent to treat chronic limb-threatening ischemia in the lower legs. The first procedure was performed by CIS interventional cardiologist Dr. Pradeep Nair on May 16 in the cath lab at Terrebonne General.

Manufactured by Abbott, the Esprit™ BTK System is implanted during a minimally-invasive procedure and is designed to keep arteries open while delivering the drug Everolimus to facilitate vessel restoration and protect against future blockages. The system provides support for about three years and then dissolves, as it is made of material similar to sutures or stitches.

Up until now, there were no stents or drug-coated balloons in the U.S. that were FDA-approved for use below-the-knee. The standard of care has been balloon angioplasty, where a small balloon is inserted via a catheter to the open the vessel and restore blood flow. However, blockages treated with balloon angioplasty have mixed short- and long-term results, and in some cases, vessels become blocked again.

Dr. Pradeep Nair was a part of the pivotal research trial that led to the device’s FDA approval. “Patients with chronic limb-threatening ischemia are at a constant risk for losing their leg, and a high percentage of them have blockages in the tibial arteries located below the knee,” explained Dr. Nair. “The concept of ‘leaving nothing behind’ is one that I feel is the future of peripheral intervention. This system combines the benefits of drug elution and vessel scaffolding to keep vessels open longer and has the added benefit of completely resorbing into the vessel within a few years. This technology is transformative for our patients suffering from chronic limb ischemia.”

“We are truly thrilled to offer this innovative technology to our patients with our continued partnership of 41 years with CIS and look forward to bringing new advancements in cardiology services,” said Phyllis Peoples, President and CEO of Terrebonne General. “Our dedication to high-quality care enables us to offer the most advanced procedures to better serve our patients and community."

Chronic limb-threatening ischemia is a late stage of peripheral artery disease, referring to vascular disease in the legs. Symptoms may include painful cramping during exercise, sores, numbness, coldness, discoloration or a weak pulse in the foot or leg. Those with symptoms should consult with their cardiologist.