This health video focuses on the use of a cold laser to help save legs.
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Jennifer Matthews: At 77, Rene Heredia has had his share of frustration. Most of that frustration came from dealing with the pain in his legs. Rene Heredia: I swear, the pain was so intense. I don't wish that pain to my worst enemy. Jennifer Matthews: Rene has critical limb ischemia, a painful condition that blocks blood flow in his legs. A simple cut can have devastating consequences. Dr. Daniel Garnic: It leads from a minor scrape or cut to what could end up as an amputation. Jennifer Matthews: In fact, the condition leads to about 100,000 amputations every year. Smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol raises the risk. Now, doctors are saving legs with this, a cold laser that can eat through plaque. Dr. Daniel Garnic: At the tip of the laser, the light energy touches the plaque and vaporizes it. Jennifer Matthews: It's called clirpath and it lets doctors work through blockages they couldn't get through before. This image shows three blocked areas of the leg. After clirpath, the increased blood flow is obvious. Studies show the laser can save 93 percent of limbs from being amputated. Dr. Daniel Garnic: This is the best thing that's come down in peripheral vascular disease, I think, in the last 20 years. Jennifer Matthews: It worked for Rene. Rene Heredia: No more complaints. No more pain. Jennifer Matthews: With his pain gone, Rene now has time to deal with life's smaller frustrations. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.