People who could not even walk to the mailbox without getting chest pains are finding pain relief with local therapy. It is for patients who want to forego bypass surgery to try to get rid of their chest pain as a result of clogged arteries.
Andrew Bourassa only has one vein running to his heart because the others are clogged. he says, "they can't operate on me because I have only like a 40 percent chance of making it through the heart operation because I'm so clogged up."
So, Andrew's doctor recommended he be the first person in Amarillo on a compression machine. He recently finished his therapy where for an hour a day, five days a week, for nine weeks, air pressure cuffs were put on his lower body to compress his legs and hips to push blood to his heart.
Amarillo Heart Group's Dr. Arunava Ray says, "these are patients who are literally saying that there is nothing we can do for them and they have been doing extremely well since the end of the therapy."
Bourassa says he feels "80-85 percent better, I mean I used to be real tired then, before I got on this machine and now I can get up in the morning."
Not only that, but Andrew's chest pains are gone and his energy is back. He says, "before I couldn't even walk ten minutes around my block without hurting. Now I walk a few times and it still don't bother me at all."
Dr. Ray says the therapy, which is the only one of its kind in the Panhandle and available to some local heart patients, can reduce patients' need for medication.
He says, "in about 70 percent of patients, I have been able to reduce their need for anti-angial medications."
Andrew says since his therapy ended, he has not needed one nitro-glycerin pill.