TINLEY PARK, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vascular Specialists in Tinley Park, Illinois, is pleased to announce that Dr. Eugene Tanquilut, has successfully completed the first Ellipsys Vascular Access System procedure in the Chicago Southland region.
“Peter Song was a perfect candidate for Ellipsys. His overall health is good, his veins are a good size, but his need for dialysis was becoming very urgent. Ellipsys is a strong solution for patients who have the potential to live decades longer, but need dialysis to filter out toxins and excess fluids,” said Tanquilut.
When patient Peter Song of Homer Glen, Illinois, retired 20 years ago, he was also hit with a diagnosis of Type II diabetes. After the diagnosis, Song didn’t change his diet or follow his physician’s recommendations and now age 55, he readily admits, “I destroyed my own kidneys.”
It was in 2017 when a cancerous tumor was removed from his left renal gland that Song realized his kidney function was precarious. In the past year, his glomerular filtration rate (GFR), already under the normal range, dropped over 20 points and, as Song said, “it just keeps going south.”
With hemodialysis on the horizon, Song needed an access created in his arm to allow the blood to travel to the dialysis machine for cleaning and then back into his body.
Tanquilut said, “Mr. Song’s kidneys are not doing an effective job of cleaning waste or removing enough fluid from his blood. These wastes and fluids are toxic. Eventually, without hemodialysis, these toxins will be fatal within a few weeks. As Peter spends winters in Hawaii, his quality of life depends upon his ability to get in the water and swim with almost no risk of infection at an access point. Even while undergoing dialysis, we want him to maintain his lifestyle as much as possible.”
“When I met Dr. Tanquilut,” Song said, “we just hit it off. We are of similar heritage and were able to speak Tagalog together. We discussed all my access options and he told me I’m a good candidate for Ellipsys. He told me the procedure was new, but he explained it very well. I didn’t hesitate when I understood.”
Ellipsys Vascular Access System is a completely new way to create an access system; Song’s early August procedure was the first one Tanquilut performed.
First, Tanquilut made a tiny incision in Song’s forearm. Using low power thermal energy, Tanquilut used the Ellipsys device to create an opening in the vein and in the artery in Song’s arm. Tanquilut then fused the tissue of these blood vessels to create a permanent cross connection, accessible for dialysis. The minimally invasive procedure took about 30 minutes and does not require plastic tubes or sutures. Song woke up with a small adhesive bandage on his arm.
“At first I thought it was a no-go,” Song said. “It was just so fast. I was in recovery for under an hour and then it was about 20 minutes later, I was on my way home. It was a total of about 3 or 4 hours, I think.”
Song has none of the scars or lumps typical of other dialysis accesses - his arm appears perfectly normal. 93% of Ellipsys patients rate their experience with the procedure as very good or excellent.
Tanquilut said, “Ellipsys was the best choice for Peter. The procedure itself is safe and quick - about a third of the time of creating a traditional fistula. Recovery is faster, so Peter returned to normal activities in one day. He’ll be able to swim in the ocean just as he always has. The best part is that the Ellipsys access will be matured for dialysis to begin in 6 to 8 weeks. Traditional fistulas may take up to 16 weeks.”
Patients should seek a fellowship trained vascular and endovascular surgeons for information about the Ellipsys access system. Vascular surgeons have the extensive training and specialized knowledge to effectively use the device and to identify patients who are right for the procedure. Most importantly, vascular specialists are able to manage all the risks associated with the procedure.
Song said, “It’s a weird sensation to feel the “thrill” (blood flowing in his veins). Dr. T said my veins look good, with good circulation. There are lots of dialysis centers all over Hawaii, so I’m hopeful I’ll be able to get back to the life I had.”