Vascular disease affects your circulatory system and puts you at risk for stroke, heart disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm. Nancy Naeve Brown met a Yankton woman with PAD who had such bad leg pain she went to the ER and it's a good thing she did.
In the fall of 2011, for Anne DeJong walking up and down stairs in her Yankton house alongside husband Lawrence was out of the question. In fact walking anywhere became increasingly unbearable.
"I knew there was something wrong because my legs had been bothering me quite a bit. I was having cramps in my leg for a couple of weeks. It felt like it was frozen and that's not a good feeling," Anne said
On September 17, 2011 she went to the ER at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital. They quickly got her into the cath lab where vascular surgeon Dr. Luke Serck with Yankton Medical Clinic P.C. treated her on the spot.
"She came in with sudden onset of a cold leg in the lower extremity from a blood clot that accumulated in her leg. We did an angiogram and x-ray to find where the clot was and used special medication to dissolve a majority of the clot and that left behind some heavy atherosclerosis or PAD." Dr. Serck said.
Anne has battled peripheral artery disease for years and has a family history of vascular disease. She has had stents placed above her knee, near her groin and in her abdomen to keep circulation going to her problem leg, but when she came in those stents weren't working. Anne had paralysis in her foot and couldn't feel her toes.
"I had a lot of pain in my leg. It hurt." Anne said.
"Essentially it was like a tunicate had been put on her leg. Those things are life threatening. The clot was going to break off and go to her brain or go anywhere essentially there was no circulation to her leg which is life threatening, "Dr. Serck said.
Because the Avera Sacred Heart cath lab is also a fully equipped surgical suite after the angiogram Dr. Serck stayed here to perform a femoral endarterectomy; a surgical procedure to remove the built up plaque blocking the artery in her leg.
"A blocked femoral artery is better served with surgery. It you put a stent across the groin it can bend, "Dr. Serck said.
Anne was back home the day after surgery.
"He was nice, he was a good doctor who solved my problem," Anne said.
And traveling out of town to have surgery wasn't one of those problems. She's glad to have expert specialized medical care close to home and she didn't have to risk life and limb Dr. Serck saved both.
Vascular Screening Program
Your vascular system is a complex subject that deserves comprehensive care. Thankfully, Avera Sacred Heart is here to offer testing and care to keep your vascular system working its best.
Appointments 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. No physician referral necessary
Avera Sacred Heart offers three different Vascular Screenings to detect for the conditions of vascular disease:
Carotid Artery Screening
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening
Peripheral Artery Disease Screening
All tests will be read by a board-certified radiologist, with results mailed to you.
Cost is $35 each or all three for $100
For more information go to: http://www.avera.org/sacred-heart/services/heart/index.aspx