Straight to the Heart: DMC’s Less-Invasive Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair
Eighty-year old Walter Piotrowski was headed for prostate cancer surgery when doctors found that he had an abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, sometimes referred to as “AAA.” It’s a potentially deadly bulge in the abdominal aorta, the body’s largest blood vessel, which feeds the lower extremities.
The aneurysm occurs when pressure builds, causing the swelling – making the aorta look like a “bubble in a pipe.”
The danger is that that bubble may burst. Especially at risk are those with high blood pressure, diabetes, and arteriosclerosis. Dr. Ali Kafi, clinical chief of cardio-thoracic surgery at the DMC says, because there are no symptoms, an aortic aneurysm can be a silent killer.
“Once the tear happens, the patient’s blood will go out of the tear. The majority of these people may not even make it to the hospital.”
Mr. Piotrowski’s cancer treatment had to wait until his aneurysm was repaired. Traditional surgery required a very long incision from the sternum to the bottom of the abdomen, up to two weeks in the hospital, and up to six weeks of recovery. But Dr. Kafi and the DMC offer a minimally-invasive endovascular repair procedure.
The procedure involves an endo-graft, which is inserted through a much smaller incision and positioned by moving through the circulatory system to the site of the aneurysm. Once in place, the device fits the diameter of the aorta, creating a new path for blood to flow and relieving the pressure that caused the bulge. Generally, there are fewer complications and a much shorter hospital stay/ recovery period.
The majority of all patients go home in a day or two after this operation. And they can be active within five, six days, or a week after their operation.
The precision and efficiency with which Dr. Kafi and his team work underscores the DMC’S expertise and commitment to employ the very latest technology in cardiovascular care.
Afterward, Dr. Kafi was greatly pleased with the results. “The blood flow now only goes through the graft that we put inside the abdomen and goes to both legs without entering the aneurysm. As a result that aneurysm is now safeguarded, it’s not going to expand, it’s not going to rupture. He should be able to go home in a couple of days.”
To connect with doctor, call 888-DMC-2500.