A revolutionary new procedure, called Brachytheraphy is now being offered at several East Texas hospitals.
After four bypass surgeries, 65 year old Maryanne Calvert is hoping Brachytheraphy will prevent her from needing more open heart surgery, "This right here is really good because I don't want to have to go through the major surgery again." Maryanne explains.
Often times, people like Maryanne will develop scar tissue that re-clogs the veins. It's especially common with stent veins, the metal tubing left in the vein to ensure it's not re-clogged with plaque.
Dr. Jeff Carr says Brachytheraphy uses radiation to unclog those veins. A tiny metal tube is filled with radioactive seeds that zap the scar tissue away "It will shut down or kill off those cells from continuing to grow."
The tube goes into a person's artery through a catheter. It sits there for about fifteen minutes letting out waves of radiation. The gamma or beta rays clear out the scar tissue leaving the artery unclogged and the procedure is done.
"It's much easier than bypass surgery which would be he other alternative if we aren't able to get the artery to stay open long term," Explains Dr. Rodney Henry of Good Shepherd Hospital.
Brachytheraphy is now offered at Longview Regional Medical Center, East Texas Medical Center, Good Shepherd Medical Center, Trinity Mother Frances Health System and Longview Regional Medical Center.