New medical device used on two Oklahoma veterans

Monday, September 27th 2004, 9:08 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Two veterans in Oklahoma are among the first patients in the nation to receive a new medical device that unblocks clogged arteries in the neck.

The two men are patients at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Oklahoma City.

One veteran's carotid artery was 75% clogged, while the other's was 90% blocked.

A thin, flexible-metal stent was inserted into the artery in a non-surgical procedure and permanently inserted at the site of plaque blockage.

Doctors say the two veterans had heart and lung problems that made carotid surgery high-risk.

The procedures were the first in Oklahoma and among the first in the nation.

More than 2,300 Oklahomans die from strokes each year. Many others suffer crippling strokes caused by blocked carotid arteries.