St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) July 10, 2012
The use of fenestrated stent grafts has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Vascular surgeons at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center are one of few in the country to offer this treatment option for abdominal aortic aneurysm patients.
The recent development of less invasive techniques has improved abdominal aortic aneurysm surgical treatment; however, there are patients that have aneurysms too close to arteries that feed the kidneys. For these patients, endovascular graft placement was not an option in the past as blood flow to the kidneys would be blocked. These new fenestrated stents have small openings that allow for blood flow to renal arteries.
“It’s a significant advantage for us to treat patients with fenestrated devices,” says Luis Sanchez, MD, chief of vascular surgery at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish. “This allows us to treat another 15-20% of patients we would not have been able to treat previously.”
For that 15-20% of patients, aneurysms can be repaired from inside the blood vessel. The fenestrated stent graft is inserted through an incision in the groin and guided into place using x-ray images.
Physicians at Washington University assisted with the trials that led to the approval of the fenestrated stents by the FDA. “Results from the U.S. trial have been excellent,” Sanchez states. “We found in follow up for five years, no patient required conversion to open surgery and none of the aneurysms ruptured, which is ultimately what we want to prevent when we treat these patients.”
Barnes-Jewish Hospital is one of only three training sites in the county able to teach other surgeons the procedure.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a weakened and bulged aorta in the abdominal area. This bulged area is caused by weakening of the wall in the artery. Size is an indicator of the severity of the weakened artery. The rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause severe bleeding. Size and growth rate of the aneurysm determine treatment options for a patient. Treatment can vary from monitoring to emergency surgery. Vascular surgeons at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Center review each patient’s case individually to determine the best treatment option.
The minimally invasive fenestrated stent procedure used to treat abdominal aortic aneurysm allows quicker recovery times with discharge usually occurring in two days. A traditional hospital stay for open surgery lasts seven to ten days.
For more information, visit http://www.barnesjewish.org/aaa or call 866-TOP-DOCS.