By Stephanie Stahl

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Shockwave therapy, a revolutionary new way to treat blocked arteries, is being done on the Main Line.

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The new, less invasive treatment for peripheral artery disease uses sonic shockwaves.

Bill Crawford has his life back after getting a new treatment for peripheral artery disease.

“It was debilitating. I couldn’t walk really quite painful,” Crawford said.

It’s an artery blockage in his legs caused by a build up of calcified plaque.

“The process that happens in the legs is identical to the process that happens in the heart,” said Dr. Sarange Mangalmurti.

Dr. Mangalmurti, an interventional cardiologist with the Lankenau Heart Institute of Main Line Health, says the traditional treatment for severe cases has been surgery, until now.

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“It’s revolutionary in terms of its treatment,” he said.

With a catheter, a balloon is threaded into the blockage, then sound waves are deployed to break up the plaque.

“That allows more blood to get to the leg and it allows patients to feel significantly better,” he said.

After years of being in pain and unable to do activities he loved, Crawford is back to walking without pain.

Crawford gets emotional when he talks about the success of the procedure.

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“I walk about two to three miles a day now,” Crawford said.

Right now, the therapy is only treating blocked arteries in the legs but doctors hope to someday expand it’s use to even include the heart and brain.

Stephanie Stahl