A new surgical device with a super-hero sounding name is saving limbs and lives one artery at a time. The Turbohawk is a motorized catheterization device that scrapes and collects plaque and powers through delicate and calcified vessels in the leg to open up blood pathways and restore circulation. This is especially important for patients with wounds that will not heal often because of poor circulation, blood pressure and diabetes.
"You're looking at vessels that are 2 millimeters in diameter and they are long vessels. They're prone to get arterial sclerosis and they're heavily calcified," said Dr. Carl Fastabend, cardiologist at Christus St. Patrick Hospital.
David Husband, 87, suffered from a wound that just would not heal in his foot. He said he had radiating pain day and night.
"I got to praying then I got about ready to go in, but ya'll brought me back to life," said Husband.
Non-surgical treatments were not working fast enough and he was on the road to amputation.
Dr. Fastabend used the Turbohawk to open up the blood flow to his wound. Six months after the procedure Husband was back on his feet wound-free. Now all he has to worry about is keeping up with his 33 grandchildren.
"I can play around with them. I can't run with them because some of them babies can move!" said Husband.