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104 Years Old and “Champion” Strong

Lillian Champion lives up to her name. At 104 years old, she lives with her daughter and granddaughter in Dallas, Texas. Lillian exercises 45 minutes each day (including walking and weight training), prepares her own lunch, gives plenty of instructions in the kitchen, and refuses to use a wheelchair, preferring to walk wherever she needs to go, thank you very much. What a champion!

When Lillian began to walk with a limp earlier this year, she experienced frequent falls, even breaking her arm and cracking three ribs in one recent tumble. Additionally, Lillian was experiencing chronic pain in her left leg and her granddaughter Melody Branch noticed a few sores on her left foot that wouldn’t heal.

Ultimately, they decided to consult with a doctor. After all, Lillian’s 104th birthday celebration was right around the corner and she needed to feel well enough to celebrate at Spaghetti Warehouse, home of her favorite dessert, lemon cake.

Lillian met with Dr. Russell Lam of Lam Vascular & Associates in Dallas. He recommended a left lower extremity angiogram with atherectomy, angioplasty, thrombectomy and stent placement to treat her Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). Lillian was concerned because she didn’t want these procedures to slow her down.

She needn’t have worried. Lillian was up and walking within an hour of the surgery. Within days, she was feeling, “One hundred percent better,” said granddaughter Melody. “She walks better, has no numbness in her leg, and doesn’t walk with a limp anymore.”

Lillian couldn’t be happier with her decision to allow Dr. Lam to perform surgery. “I haven’t had any pain at all,” she said. “Dr. Lam is such a kind man. I felt very cared for. I would recommend him to anyone. Every day, I just put my trust in God and know that He is going to take care of me.”

Meet Dr. Lam

Dr. Russell Lam is board certified in vascular and endovascular surgery. He specializes in minimally-invasive therapy for PAD, aortic aneurysm, carotid artery stenosis, limb salvage, stroke prevention, and varicose veins. Dr. Lam founded Lam Vascular & Associates in 2009 and has quickly emerged as a nationally recognized physician in complex peripheral arterial and venous interventional procedures.

Dr. Lam is a pioneer in minimally-invasive peripheral arterial disease treatments. His practice Lam Vascular & Associates is a state-of-the-art, nationally accredited, outpatient vascular center that is dedicated to performing complex peripheral vascular interventions without requiring hospital admission or overnight stay. For patients and their families, the convenience of an outpatient center that focuses on each patient’s individual and medical needs is a truly unique experience in healthcare.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Lam has performed more than 5,000 complex peripheral interventions and has been credited with preventing thousands of leg amputations.

What is PAD, What Causes it, and How is it Treated?

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is also known as Peripheral Vascular Disease. It is a common medical condition in which a build up of plaque makes it difficult for blood to circulate through the arteries. PAD primarily affects the legs, but can also damage arteries in other parts of the body. Severe PAD can lead to sores or ulcers developing on the toes, feet and legs that may take a long time to heal, which raises the risk for permanent tissue damage and amputation. PAD is also considered a risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

PAD is caused by atherosclerosis, a build-up of plaque (fatty deposits and cholesterol) on the walls of the arteries. Over time, the arteries can become so narrow that it is difficult for blood to flow through to bring oxygen to the muscles, tissue and organs. Clots can form when plaque breaks off and enters the bloodstream. To restore blood flow, your physician may perform peripheral artery bypass surgery or minimally invasive endovascular procedures, such as balloon angioplasty, stenting and atherectomy.

If you have PAD concerns, schedule an appointment to see Dr. Lam–here.