Global Perspectives on PVD: An Inside Look with Dr. Lichtenberg

October 11, 2021

From a global perspective, what is currently your greatest concern with regard to vascular disease?

We are seeing more and more patients with critical limb threatening ischemia due to an overall increase in diabetes and renal insufficiency. This tremendous increase in vascular disease prevalence will have a significant economic impact as treatment continues to become more complex, and unfortunately, more major amputations will be required.

Specifically, as a result of the global pandemic, what is your primary concern with regard to vascular healthcare?

Many patients were afraid of making contact with COVID-positive patients in healthcare institutions, and therefore postponed follow-up examinations or refused diagnosis of their vascular disease. This is one reason we are now seeing more patients with advanced disease. Also, in many institutions, elective vascular procedures had to be canceled to increase capacities for COVID patient treatment. I am afraid we may see a CLTI wave after the pandemic crisis.

What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of treatment for peripheral vascular disease?

A lot of resources are invested in developing treatments for vascular disease. New technologies for even highly complex vascular disease situations have been approved for treatment in the past or are currently in the development and approval process. This will give us more options for treatment with a full endovascular approach. It is also very positive to see that even amid the pandemic, educational programs did not stop, allowing us to continue to educate a new generation of enthusiastic vascular specialists. Please share your thoughts on the role of technology in advancements in your field.

A minimally invasive endovascular approach for the treatment of peripheral arterial occlusive disease has become the method of choice. Innovative new technologies for complex lesion treatment, such as atherectomy, full endovascular bypass treatment and venous arterialization for end-stage disease treatment will help prevent major amputations. I am very enthusiastic that we will have even more treatment options very soon.

Besides new devices or equipment, in what ways have new technologies improved your abilities as a clinician? This might include more connectivity with global experts, improved access to data, real-time sharing of information, etc.

COVID taught us to use more digital formats to provide both education and treatment. I see a realistic chance that digital platforms will become standard after the pandemic has subsided. This will increase connectivity between KOLs and scientists. It also means that technical and educational support for interventions can be easily brought to the Cath Labs. With these technologies, new and effective treatment options can be implemented much faster with virtual support.

Why did you become involved in the creation of the PVD Channel?

PVD reflects the modern methodologies of scientific exchange – interaction and education. KOLs from all over the world provide their insights on existing scientific evidence and share their knowledge with their colleagues.

What is the primary goal that you aim to accomplish in your role as Faculty for the PVD Channel?

It is a privilege to be a part of such a great Faculty within The PVD Channel. I have learned so much from experts in their respective fields, and I feel honored to share my knowledge with others as well.

How is the PVD Channel different from other educational initiatives?

The PVD Channel is unique because it offers what many educational platforms do not—a highly interactive approach. Another reason The PVD Channel is valuable to clinicians is because it gives us the opportunity to stay up-to-date on the latest information at any time.

If you could share one insight from your experience treating patients with PVD with your colleagues around the globe, what would it be?

Never give up on saving a limb. There are many new treatment modalities that are now available, so before you decide to perform a major amputation, talk to your colleagues around the globe via interactive channels to gain additional perspectives that might change your patient’s life.


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