ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Due to her constant sciatica, Kathleen Paladine had become used to living in pain. However, as her lower body discomfort worsened to the point of immobilization, she realized something had to be done to take her life back.
Experiencing pain in her thighs and the back of her legs, she turned to chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, physical therapy and even B12 shots and anti-inflammatory injections for relief. But nothing helped. “I couldn’t walk more than 100 feet without having to stop,” said the Congers resident. “I became a potted plant.”
After 4 ½ years of nearly constant pain, her primary care doctor referred her to a cardiologist, who ordered angiograms of her legs. When the test results indicated long arterial blockages, the 70-year-old grandmother was referred to Dr. Michael Schwartz, chief of Vascular Surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth).
Schwartz diagnosed Paladine with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), a hardening of the arteries that causes a buildup of plaque in blood vessels, and recommended vascular bypass surgery. She chose to have her surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital when she learned her hospital stay would be two days rather than a week at another hospital, as was suggested by another vascular surgeon.
Schwartz performed vascular bypass surgery on Paladine on Oct. 26. He used one of her veins to create a conduit to bypass her arterial blockage. Though her incision was nearly 17 inches long, she was walking shortly after the surgery. Following her initial physical therapy sessions in Good Samaritan Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU), she returned home on the third day to continue at-home physical therapy sessions.
Continue reading Kathleen's story of recovery via Advancing Care in the Hudson Valley.