Published on September 10, 2019

Joliet Woman Feels Like She Has a New Set of Legs Following PAD Treatment at Silver Cross

Joliet resident Beverly Dixon, 63, says she feels like a woman half her age following treatment for peripheral artery disease at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. 

Beverly Dixon with Dr. Feraz Rahman, M.D.,
Beverly Dixon with Dr. Feraz Rahman, M.D., interventional radiologist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital, who treated her peripheral artery disease.

Dixon, who had been plagued with painful muscle cramps in her legs, especially when she walked or climbed stairs, was afraid the discomfort would eventually force her to leave her job working with disabled clients. That’s when she turned to her primary care doctor, Latha Arla-Polavarapu D.O., an internal medicine physician on the medical staff at Silver Cross Hospital last fall. 

Dr. Arla consulted with an expert in vascular disease to see what therapies might help her patient with suspected peripheral artery disease (PAD).  

Interventional radiologist Feraz Rahman M.D., a board-certified radiologist who completed a fellowship in vascular and interventional radiology, specializes in minimally invasive, targeted treatments. 

“Silver Cross Hospital was among the first in the area to establish a dedicated clinic to provide the full range of diagnostic and therapeutic interventional radiology,” he explains. “The clinic-based Interventional Radiology Program at Silver Cross Hospital uses minimally invasive interventions to treat a wide spectrum of diseases and conditions, including cancer, arterial disease, varicose veins, uterine fibroids, osteoporosis, prostate enlargement, and more.” 

Through a tiny incision in the skin, interventional radiologists can deliver precise, targeted treatment to complex, painful and potentially life-threatening conditions. And because therapy is less invasive, these procedures involve less risk, less pain and less recovery time compared to open surgery.  

Interventional radiology treatments are a well-accepted choice for many conditions and are especially appropriate for patients who are in frail health or who have already undergone numerous surgeries.

Drs. Arla and Rahman recognized Dixon, a former smoker with high blood pressure, had risk factors for peripheral artery disease.

The two collaborated to ensure Dixon’s medications were optimized to control risk factors such as high cholesterol, and then Dr. Rahman successfully treated the blockages in her legs, using minimally invasive techniques. These included an angiogram to locate the blockages; atherectomy to remove the plaque buildup; angioplasty, which uses a balloon to open up a narrow artery; and a stent to keep the artery open for improved blood flow.  

“I never even had a surgery in my 63-year lifetime, so naturally I was a little afraid,” Dixon admitted, “but Silver Cross was great. The staff and the doctors always asked how I felt. I went from having excruciating leg cramp pains that woke me up at night and hardly being able to walk from a parking spot to the store to going out and shoveling snow in January. My doctors worked together and explained how much better I was going to feel. I was worried I’d have to quit my job and now I feel like a 30-year old with new legs!” she happily added.

About Peripheral Artery Disease

PAD is a narrowing of the peripheral arteries to the legs, stomach, arms, and head — most commonly in the arteries of the legs – which deliver blood from the heart throughout the body. When the arteries are blocked, blood flow is restricted and prevents oxygen from reaching tissues. This can cause pain, sores, or even dead tissue that can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Some patients experience pain or heaviness in their legs while walking, which makes exercise or climbing stairs difficult. Blockages can occur in other arteries too, including the mesenteric arteries, which provide blood flow to the intestines, and renal arteries, which supply the kidneys.

For more information about peripheral artery disease treatment at Silver Cross, or for a physician referral, visit www.silvercross.org

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.