Specially Designed, Custom-Made Grafts Represent an Advance in Vascular Surgery
Vascular surgeons at The Valley Hospital are offering a new type of minimally invasive procedure for patients with a complex form of abdominal aortic aneurysm.
The procedure involves the use of a specially designed stent graft — called a fenestrated stent graft (shown at right) — which is designed specifically for patients whose aneurysms cannot be repaired using traditional minimally invasive techniques. Where these patients would previously require open abdominal surgery and weeks of recovery time, they can have a two- to three-day recovery time with fewer complications.
“It’s a significant advantage to our patients with these complex aneurysms to be able to offer treatment with the fenestrated graft,” said Daniel Char, M.D., Director of Vascular Surgery at Valley. “Now we can offer a safer, minimally invasive solution for many more patients diagnosed with abdominal aortic aneurysms.” Dr. Char and Joshua Bernheim, M.D., are among only a handful of vascular surgeons in the Central/Northern New Jersey areas trained on this advanced type of endovascular aneurysm repair.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a bulge in the lower part of the aorta, the major blood vessel that supplies blood to the body runs from the heart through the center of the chest and abdomen. Over time the bulge can enlarge and as it does so the walls of the aorta become thinner and stretch or balloon out. This weakened area of the aorta can rupture and because the aorta is the body's main supplier of blood, a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding.
One treatment for this life-threating condition is to shore up the affected area of the area by placing a graft or stent — a tube composed of fabric supported by a metal mesh — inside the vessel. The graft shields the weak section of the aorta and makes a new path through which blood flows. The procedure is performed minimally invasively through very small incisions in the groin using only local anesthesia.
But approximately 10 percent of AAA patients have an affected area close to branching arteries for the kidneys, small bowel and liver, ruling out the use of a traditional endovascular graft, which would block blood flow to those organs. For those patients, open abdominal surgery would be the only option.
The Zenith® Fenestrated AAA Endovascular Graft by Cook Medical addresses that concern. Each stent graft is custom-made from a 3-D computer model of the patient’s anatomy, based on a spiral CT scan. Holes, or fenestrations, are positioned in the stent graft precisely where the patient’s renal or bowel arteries branch off, ensuring that blood can flow to the kidneys and nearby organs from the aorta.
For more information, please call the Heart and Vascular Institute at 201-447-8456.
About The Valley Hospital
The Valley Hospital, a 451-bed, acute care, not-for-profit hospital located in Ridgewood, NJ, is part of Valley Health System, which also includes Valley Home Care and Valley Medical Group. Valley is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. These include 10 consecutive recognitions for service excellence by J.D. Power and Associates for inpatient care, six consecutive awards for patient safety and quality care from the Leapfrog Group, and Gold Seals of Approval from the Joint Commission in 12 clinical areas, including six for cancer care, more than any other hospital in the nation. Valley has also been recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for joint replacement and orthopedic surgery. Valley has also been honored three times with “Magnet” designation – the nursing profession’s highest honor. Key services include cardiology, oncology, women’s and children’s services, emergency care, orthopedics, and neurosciences. For more information please visit www.ValleyHealth.com.
Caption: The Zenith® Fenestrated AAA Endovascular Graft by Cook Medical is custom designed to shore up the area affected by the aneurysm while allowing blood flow to branching arteries feeding the kidneys and other nearby organs.
Permission for use granted by Cook Medical Incorporated, Bloomington, Indiana