Friday, June 17, 2011 - Arizona Heart Institute physician pioneers new laser treatment for peripheral vascular disease

PHOENIX (June 17, 2011) – Dr. Grayson Wheatley, a cardiovascular surgeon from Arizona Heart Institute, has helped pioneer a new laser simulator training device from Spectranetics to assist in educating physicians from around the country on advanced treatment of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).

PAD is a very common but underappreciated medical issue affecting 8 million Americans. A form of cardiovascular disease, PAD reduces blood flow to lower limbs caused by build up of plaque and cholesterol, also placing one at risk of heart attack and stroke. If left untreated, PAD in its advanced stages can lead to a condition referred to as “cold foot” which sadly can result in amputation and in some cases death. Advanced minimally invasive techniques such as the use of laser are designed to restore blood flow in PAD and restore patient mobility.

Spectranetics will partner with surgeons like Dr. Wheatley experienced in laser techniques to train hundreds of physicians across the U.S. The use of the laser simulation system creates a safe, realistic learning environment for physicians-in-training seeking laser training as well as for experienced physicians looking to enhance their skills in treating this complex disease.

The new laser simulation system is intended to complement traditional training for physicians on plaque removal techniques by permitting hands-on practice to cross, prepare, and remove peripheral arterial blockages in virtual case scenarios both above and below the knee. The system can also mimic real-world complications the physician may encounter along with strategies and techniques that offer the best possible patient outcomes.

Dr. Wheatley is a leader in the care and treatment of PAD and frequently serves as faculty for advanced endovascular training. “I am thrilled to have played a role in the launch of this new laser simulator, which will make a huge impact in the outcomes of patients suffering from PAD,” said Dr. Grayson Wheatley, Arizona Heart Institute. “It is my hope to train other physicians utilizing this simulation system to significantly reduce amputation and death rates and improve quality of life for those suffering.”

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About Arizona Heart Institute

Arizona Heart Institute is among the world’s leading providers of cardiovascular care.  This visionary organization was founded in 1971, quickly evolving into the country’s first freestanding outpatient clinic solely dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart and blood vessel disease.  Since then, Arizona Heart Institute has grown to expand treatment and research options with the opening of Arizona Heart Hospital in 1998 and the dedication of Arizona Heart Institute Translational Research Center in 2007.  Through these unique facilities, Arizona Heart Institute offers the most contemporary and comprehensive approach to cardiovascular medicine and an unmatched level of specialty care.  For more information, visit