First in state: MUSC Vascular Surgery offers device to improve outcomes for complex below-the-knee arteries

CHARLESTON, S.C. (July 29, 2020) – MUSC Health is the first hospital in the stateto offer the Tack Endovascular System (4F), a minimal metal implant used to repair dissections following balloon angioplasty in complex below-the-knee arteries. MUSC Health has adopted this innovative new technology as part of its commitment to improving care for critical limb ischemia patients.

Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is the most severe form of peripheral arterial disease, occurring when an obstruction in an artery severely reduces blood flow, causing painful wounds, debilitating reset pain, recurring ulcers and life-threatening infection. Historically, vascular surgeons have had limited treatment options available for these extremely sick patients. 

According to vascular surgeon Mathew Wooster, M.D., an assistant professor in the College of Medicine, CLI is an enormous burden on the health care system, and South Carolina still has one of the highest amputation rates in the country.  

Balloon angioplasty is a minimally invasive, first-line intervention for CLI; however, the procedure can create dissections, or tears, in the vessel wall that inhibit blood flow and promote thrombus formation.  

“While we have seen the benefits of drug elution and stenting in the superficial femoral artery and the coronary arteries,” explained Wooster, “for CLI patients, where the tibial vessels are prone to spasm and dissection like coronary vessels, yet too long for total stenting, we have not had any options other than balloon angioplasty – until now.” 

The novel Tackimplant has been rigorously studied as part of the robust TOBA (Tack optimized balloon angioplasty) clinical program, notably the only clinical trials to investigate 100% dissected vessels. The global, multicenter pivotal study verified that the Tack Endovascular System (4F) is a safe and effective therapeutic option, demonstrating post-angioplasty improvement in blood flow, wound healing and amputation prevention in a complex CLI patient population.

“Incorporating this first-of-its-kind implant into our treatment algorithms provides an innovative solution for our CLI patients,” said Wooster. “We are excited to be able to finally have something more to offer CLI patients before resorting to major amputation.”  


About MUSC Health

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the oldest medical school in the South, as well as the state’s only integrated, academic health sciences center with a unique charge to serve the state through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and nearly 800 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The state’s leader in obtaining biomedical research funds, in fiscal year 2019, MUSC set a new high, bringing in more than $284 million. For information on academic programs, visit

As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2020, for the sixth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $3.2 billion. The more than 17,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care.