LEOMINSTER — Longtime vascular surgeon and founding member of The Vascular Care Group, Dr. Stephen Hoenig recently completed a successful percutaneous femoral-popliteal artery bypass at its Merriam Avenue location, the first procedure of its kind in the state in an outpatient setting.
“With any new procedure there is always freshman anxiety,” Hoenig said of the breakthrough procedure. “I have an excellent team that gave me confidence and assisted in every part of the process.”
The procedure is used to treat a blocked femoral artery, the largest artery in the thigh that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the leg. According to a press release, the percutaneous bypass graft is used to restore blood flow to the lower leg and foot using a minimally invasive technique that avoids hospitalization and long recovery.
“Although I did not invent this procedure, I am proud to bring it to my community,” Hoenig said. “This, along with many of the minimally invasive procedures we now perform in the outpatient facility, I believe, are transformative in the world of vascular surgery and patient care. It gave me great joy and satisfaction to provide this service to my patients.”
Hoenig said they have now completed the minimally invasive procedure, which decreases recovery time, on two patients under mild-conscious sedation.
“Both patients watched the procedure being performed on the monitor and had only minimal discomfort,” he said. “This procedure assists in keeping patients out of the hospital where they otherwise may have required a three-to-five-day hospitalization for recovery. My patients walked out of my office one hour after the procedure.”
According to a press release the procedure was part of an investigational device exemption trial called Detour2 Continued Access (NCT04625660), sponsored by Endologix LLC. The trial is evaluating the safety and effectiveness of the PQ Bypass System for a percutaneous femoral-popliteal bypass procedure. The PQ Bypass System was designated as a U.S. Food and Drug Administration Breakthrough Device in 2020.
“By offering this type of minimally invasive procedure in the outpatient setting, we can help patients avoid a surgical incision, hospitalization and postoperative recovery,” said Hoenig. “The patient was discharged … after the procedure with no discomfort and only two small, quarter-inch access incisions. This clearly changes our approach to limb threatening disease. I feel privileged to be one of the first vascular surgeons in Massachusetts to perform the procedure.”
With this new procedure, The Vascular Care Group is providing new technologies and techniques to community physicians working outside of large research centers, enabling greater access to medical innovation in a safe, efficient, patient-friendly setting. It marks another step in granting communities access to cutting-edge technology on a local level at a lower cost, without requiring a trip to a major city, or a long hospital stay.
Hoenig has been a vascular surgeon for 22 years and helped found The Vascular Care Group in January 2020, which has nine locations across the state.