WRMC Offers Treatment for CAD & PAD

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WRMC Offers Treatment for CAD & PAD

WRMC Providing Complex Coronary Intervention/Peripheral Interventions for Heart and Legs


(Batesville, Ark.) – White River Health (WRH) is proud to bring complex coronary interventions to patients suffering from coronary artery disease (CAD). Dr. Mahesh Anantha, who joins the team of Interventional Cardiologists including Dr. Richard Van Grouw and Dr. Roger Hill, has recently performed the first complex coronary intervention procedure in Batesville at White River Medical Center (WRMC) using two different coronary atherectomy devices.

 CAD is caused by blockages in the heart arteries, and people suffering from severe CAD can experience chest pain, weakness, nausea, pain or discomfort in the arms or shoulders, shortness of breath, or even experience heart attack. CAD can be crippling to a patient, hindering all aspects of life.

 When calcium gets deposited with the cholesterol, this calcium needs to be cracked prior to deployment of a stent, otherwise it can prevent proper expansion of stents. “We now have several advanced equipment available to help break calcium in heart arteries, which will significantly help high risk patients,” said Dr. Anantha.

 Lewis Christenberry from Cave City is grateful for this life-saving technology. In 2021, Lewis experienced heart issues, including two heart attacks, due to CAD. The last heart attack landed her a week-long stay in a heart ICU. Lewis was not a candidate for bypass surgery. As a result of her condition, she always felt tired, physically drained, and her daily activities were very limited. Her scans and medical information were sent to Dr. Anantha, who had an option for her.

 “He gave hope where there hadn’t been any,” said Lewis.

 Dr. Anantha told Lewis that he could perform a complex intervention procedure, along with the assistance of the Cardiac Cath Lab team at WRMC, to help her condition. Lewis would be the first to receive this procedure at WRMC.

 “The procedure involved cracking calcium using atherectomy -simply a roto-rooter to drill through the heart vessels- and a special balloon to deliver ultrasonic waves to disrupt calcium. This was followed by recreating the main vessel (left main artery) and its branches with stents, while using a heart pump to support the patient’s heart,” said Anantha.

 The morning after her procedure, Lewis noticed an immediate difference in the way she felt. “It was like night and day,” said Lewis. “Today I can get out in the yard to play with my five-year-old great-grandson, and I only have to go in for check-ups every few months. To me, this is awesome. Dr. Anantha and the technology is amazing.”

 “We were happy that we were able to use this advanced technology to successfully treat Mrs. Christenberry and improve her quality of life,” said Anantha. “This was the first atherectomy device in the heart vessel procedure at WRMC. This will help high risk patients, including patients who have blockages in the major artery (the left main coronary artery), some of whom would have otherwise required bypass surgery. We hope to help many other patients in the community using this technology”.

 In addition to this life-saving procedure, Dr. Anantha performs procedures at WRMC to help patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). Those with diabetes or smoking history are at high risk of having PAD and need to be screened with special tests, like screening for breast and colon cancers, especially after the age of 50. PAD is caused by a major reduction in blood flow to the legs and there are 230 million patients worldwide suffering from PAD.

 “Amputations are totally preventable, and we now have procedures to help patients with blockages in leg arteries to prevent leg and foot amputations,” said Dr. Anantha. He also emphasized that patients with leg cramps/ulcers should talk to their primary care providers to get tested for PAD early.

 Dr. Anantha completed a Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship at the University of Minnesota, a research Fellowship, from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He then went to Yale University for Advanced Interventional Cardiology/Endovascular Intervention Fellowship followed by Interventional Cardiology Fellowship at the University of Arizona. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, General Cardiology, Echocardiography, and Interventional Cardiology.

 He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a member of the American Heart Association and the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. He also serves on the Editorial board for the World Journal of Cardiology and reviews medical articles for more than a dozen journals. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine/Cardiology at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Anantha has published more than 45 medical research articles, has presented over 60 medical abstracts, has given talks at various regional and national conferences, and serves on the faculty for various national meetings.

 Dr. Anantha is seeing patients at the WRMC Cardiology Clinic, located at 16 Hospital Circle, Suite A, in Batesville. The clinic is open Monday through Thursday from 8AM to 4PM. To schedule an appointment, call (870) 793-7519.