Post-Surgery: 93 year old Golfer: September 16, 2011

Peripheral vascular disease is a condition of the blood vessels that causes narrowing of the arteries that supply the legs and feet.

It occurs mostly in people over fifty and affects men more than women.

Thomas Fagan was 92 years old when he took up the game of golf.

“It’s something to do, and you meet up with different people,” Fagan says. “It’s just a good sport”

He hits the links 5 days a week and seems to have gotten the swing of things.

“I was rookie of the year last year.”

Fagan might not have picked up his first club if he hadn’t had surgery to fix a clogged artery in his leg.

“He has what we call peripheral vascular disease which means he’s not getting enough blood to his feet and his legs and he was in pain and he was not enjoying his life,” say Lee Memorial Health System’s Dr. Moutta BenMaamer.

PVD is a serious condition that can result in loss of life or limb. Surgery is a last resort. If older patients can avoid going under the knife in an open surgery, it’s all the better.

“We were able to open up his vessels the endovascular way, the minimally invasive way,” says Dr. BenMaamer.

The endovascular procedure is done percutaneously by inserting a needle through a catheter into the blood vessel. An angioplasty clears the clog, a stent keeps it open.

Fagan spent one night in the hospital and enjoyed a quick recovery. A short time later he was tearing up the greens.