By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local hospital is using a new method to treat blockages in arteries in the leg.

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Peripheral artery disease can be a life-threatening condition as arteries become blocked, preventing blood flow.

Dr. Riyaz Bashir, director of vascular and endovascular medicine at Temple University Hospital, is using balloon angioplasty to open arteries and paclitaxil, a cancer medication, to keep them open.

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“We are basically opening up the blockage,” he explains, “and what the body tries to do is form a scar at that spot and the blockage basically occurs again.  What the medication does is prevent the scar from forming.”

He says when the medication is not used, 50 percent of patients will have a blockage recur in the same spot.

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