Dedicated to Limb Loss Prevention 

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In a groundbreaking move toward enhanced cardiovascular and limb health, South Texas Health System (STHS) Edinburg recently launched its state-of-the-art Cardiac Catheterization Lab. This impressive $6 million lab will help revolutionize cardiovascular care in the Rio Grande Valley, offering comprehensive diagnostic services for heart-related issues and enhanced limb salvage solutions for a population affected by peripheral artery disease (PAD), a leading cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States.

This condition, characterized by the narrowing of vessels that supply blood to the limbs, often results in painful wounds, gangrene, and, in severe cases, amputations. The Rio Grande Valley, specifically Hidalgo County, bears the weight of the second-highest rate of such amputations in the state, and STHS is determined to reverse this alarming trend.

“Peripheral artery disease is caused by the same thing that causes coronary artery disease, which is basically a buildup of plaque on the wall of the artery,” said Dr. Ofsman Quintana, a cardiologist with STHS Clinics and the STHS Edinburg STHS Cardiac Cath Lab director.

“If a patient needs to be treated, we take images of those arteries, then treat with either balloons, stents and other devices, or surgery. That’s the importance of this Cath Lab because we conduct diagnostic testing and then decide the best treatment for the patient.”

Led by Dr. Quintana, the STHS Cardiac Cath Lab brings hope to patients grappling with cardiovascular issues and hard-to-heal limb wounds. Dr. Quintana heads a team of physicians and staff committed to providing patients with the highest standard of care. They are offering a lifeline to those affected by PAD and advocating for increased awareness and education to prevent patients from reaching the point of amputation.

Dr. Quintana added that once a patient does have an amputation, their five-year mortality rate is more than 60%.

“We must educate people that it’s not just amputating one leg because you have to. It’s going to shorten your life span.”

“Amputation can be prevented up to 80% if you come in early and begin receiving treatment; it’ll help avoid horrible complications.”

The lab features advanced diagnostic equipment to assess and monitor a patient’s cardiovascular health. Using minimally invasive techniques, the team can identify blockages, assess blood flow, and evaluate the severity of PAD. These services are essential in the early detection and management of the disease, which will prevent further complications.

The Cath Lab is specially designed to tackle challenges posed by PAD. It offers limb salvage services that prevent amputations by treating and healing wounds caused by compromised blood flow.

“We have very sophisticated equipment that integrates a lot of things,” Dr. Quintana said. “It’s all top-of-the-line equipment, and honestly, I have worked with several cath labs, and this is the best I’ve seen.”

“There are different modalities, and STHS Edinburg has pretty much everything we need to treat those complex patients.”

STHS’ Cardiac Catheterization Lab is a lifeline for individuals affected by PAD in the Rio Grande Valley. Dr. Quintana and his team work tirelessly to heal wounds, restore limb function, and raise awareness about the consequences of untreated diabetes and cardiovascular conditions.

Through increased education and early detection, Dr. Quintana hopes to reduce the impacts of PAD and bring about a healthier, more vibrant Rio Grande Valley.

“It is important to work on prevention and early detection. We will save lives and improve a patient’s quality of life.”

Selene Guerrero