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Vascular surgeon offers outpatient PAD solution

Dr. Jim Melton talks with a pre-med student in Melton’s Oklahoma City clinic. [Courtesy CardioVascular Health Clinic]
Dr. Jim Melton talks with a pre-med student in Melton’s Oklahoma City clinic. [Courtesy CardioVascular Health Clinic]

Bill Waken, 88, of Enid, described himself as in “reasonably good health” until about a year ago when he began experiencing loss of feeling in his right leg and foot. Waken learned he had peripheral artery disease (PAD).

He also experienced a painful path to the CardioVascular Health Clinic in Oklahoma City.

After consulting a local surgeon, Waken underwent surgery to replace 18 inches of blocked femoral artery with an artificial bypass.

“Unfortunately, this very painful operation failed,” Waken said. “After two months of pain, my doctor told me there was nothing he could do and to contact someone else.”

Waken said by this time his toes were beginning to turn blue and he was losing feeling in his foot because of lack of circulation.

“I’ll also mention that I have a prosthetic left leg, so loss of use of my right leg would almost certainly put me in a wheelchair,” Waken said. “Since I’m also caring for my 90-year-old wife, this is not something I want to do.”

Fortunately, that’s when he reached out to Dr. Jim Melton, co-founder of the CardioVascular Health Clinic, who has pioneered a minimally invasive procedure to restore blood flow to lower extremities.

“I contacted Dr. Melton’s office in Oklahoma City to set up an appointment,” Waken said. “His nurse, Shawna, was very nice and quickly set up my appointment and was able to get me in to see Dr. Melton in a few days.”

When he arrived for his clinic appointment, Dr. Melton recognized Waken’s situation as an emergency and alerted his surgical staff to prepare for the needed procedure.

“Within an hour, I was downstairs, in the surgery center, watching him on a monitor putting three 6-inch stents in my leg,” Waken said.

“What’s unique about our facility is that I can see a patient upstairs in the clinic for a consultation and seamlessly transition their office visit to an outpatient procedure if needed — all in the same day,” Dr. Melton said. “This is why Dr. (Dwayne) Schmidt and I created CardioVascular Health Clinic. We wanted the ability and flexibility to give patients the care they need when they need it.”

It’s been seven months since his surgery, and Waken said the feeling and color in his toes have returned to 90% of where they were before his trouble started.

“I’ve been back to see Dr. Melton for scheduled follow-ups, and he’s always helpful and encouraging me to keep up with the exercise program,” he said. “I cannot say enough nice things about Dr. Melton, Shawna, and the entire CardioVascular Health Clinic staff.

“They were able to turn a potentially debilitating situation into one that allows my wife and me to get back to a normal life.”

Melton advised that anyone unable to walk for an extended period, or long distance, without having to stop due to painful cramping in the legs or calves may be exhibiting symptoms of peripheral vascular disease or peripheral artery disease.

Additional symptoms of peripheral arterial disease include numbness, tingling, and burning or aching pain in your feet or calves when resting, sores on your feet that won’t heal, one leg or foot that is colder than the other and pain in the legs or feet that wakes you up at night.

Peripheral arterial disease in the legs or lower extremities is the narrowing or blockage of the vessel that carries blood from the heart to the legs. The primary cause is the build-up of cholesterol in the arteries, which is called atherosclerosis. PAD can also be made worse with nicotine use and uncontrolled diabetes.

“Over the last five years, my team has treated thousands of patients with peripheral artery disease, saving thousands of limbs,” Melton said.

Dr. Melton uses an ultrasound-guided needle and inserts a small catheter into one of the arteries at the ankle. Once the catheter has been placed, Melton utilizes the latest technology and medical devices to treat the build-up of plaque in the artery. This includes various medical devices that reduce the plaque’s size restoring blood flow to the lower extremities.

For more information about the CardioVascular Health Clinic and its services, go to or call 405-369-5443.