By Dhivyan Silvaraj


Recently on 18th May, 2018,  the Malaysian National Heart Institute or Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) Kuala Lumpur surpassed yet another milestone by being the first hospital in Asia to perform  a minimally invasive procedure used to treat peripheral artery disease.


Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs usually caused by plaque build-up (atherosclerosis). It narrows the arteries that lead to the head, organs and limbs, most commonly the legs, thus do not receive enough blood flow to keep up with the demand. PAD is strongly associated with coronary artery disease and diabetes affecting almost 204 million people worldwide


. The risk of developing PAD also increases with age and amongst smokers. Symptoms include cramping, pain and tiredness in the leg or hip muscles when walking or climbing stairs; all of which ease during rest and return when movement is involved.


The peripheral vascular intervention (PVI) procedure uses an innovative multiple stent delivery system designed for the treatment of PAD which allows the doctor to deliver up to six short stents using a single device during the procedure.


A non-invasive technique, PVI  is the preferred first-line treatment that functions to remove and restore blood flow to the affected artery without the need of surgery, particularly for PAD patients with blockages in the main blood vessels in the leg (femoropopliteal lesions).


The first peripheral vascular intervention (PVI) procedure  done on the morning of the launch was performed by Dr. Shaiful Azmi bin Yahaya, Deputy Head of Cardiology Department at IJN, Dr. Kumara Gurupparan Ganesan, Consultant Cardiologist at IJN and Dr. Ralf Langhoff, Head of Angiology and Vascular Medicine, Sankt Gertrauden Hospital, Berlin.


Spot stenting procedure with this multi stent  system  is capable to avoid the complications of a “full metal jacket” concept, where the entire affected site is fully covered by a metal stent in the vessel, which can cause stent fracture or damage and thereby reduce the efficacy of the treatment. Clinical results showed that after six months, an overall 90% of patients with challenging conditions did not require additional intervention measures and that 100% of the individual stents were successfully released.


The panellists who gave detailed insight into the procedure were YBhg Datuk Dr. Aizai Azan bin Abdul Rahim, Chief Clinical Officer IJN, YBhg Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohd Azhari bin Yakub, Chief Executive Officer IJN, Dr. Shaiful Azmi bin Yahaya, Deputy Head of Cardiology Department IJN, Mr. Pallraj Armugum, General Manager and Regional Head of Aesculap Division Asia Pacific B. Braun Medical Industries Sdn Bhd, Dr. Ralf Langhoff, Senior Consultant Cardiologist Sankt-Gertrauden Hospital Berlin and Dr. Kumara Gurupparan Ganesan, Consultant Cardiologist IJN.


We are pleased to be collaborating with B.Braun Medical Supplies to perform this first  procedure.  This landmark procedure strengthens IJN’s commitment to provide both the best cardiac and vascular solutions for cardiovascular patients and lead the way in availing innovative treatments and quality care,” said Dato’ Seri Dr. Mohd Azhari Yakub, Chief Executive Officer of IJN.


In the same vein, Pallraj Armugum, General Manager and Regional Head of Aesculap Division Asia Pacific, B. Braun Medical Industries said, “Backed by the success of this procedure in Germany, we are honoured to work with IJN to avail this advanced technology to Malaysian PAD patients. With this procedure,, medical professionals have a viable first-line treatment for PAD patients, especially those with complex conditions in the limbs, offering them an enhanced recovery process3 and a greater chance for a quality life.”


IJN was established on 1st August 1992 as a heart specialist institution committed to delivering advanced standards in cardiovascular and thoracic medicine for adult and paediatric heart patients. Previously, the institute had been part of the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. Since the foundation of the institute, IJN has treated over a million patients and gained recognition as one of the leading Cardiovascular and Thoracic Health Centre in the region.