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Endovascular Thoracic Aneurysm Surgery Performed at MHOB

August 29, 2008

The first endovascular thoracic aneurysm surgery in the Catholic Health System (CHS) was recently performed at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo by John Bell-Thomson, M.D., Chairman of Mercy’s Cardiothoracic Surgery Department and Paul Anain, M.D., a Vascular Surgeon at Sisters of Charity Hospital, who assisted in the surgery.

Thanks to leading edge technology, a new endovascular surgical procedure for thoracic aneurysms provides a minimally-invasive approach to treatment versus the traditional open-chest surgery. The endovascular procedure offers many advantages for the patient including less pain and risk for complications, a shorter hospital stay, and faster recovery.

“The standard procedure is a very invasive operation with the patient experiencing 7 to 8 hours in the operating room, 7 to 8 days in intensive care following the surgery and another 4 to 5 days in recovery at the hospital before returning home,” explained Dr. Bell-Thomson. “Using this new endovascular technique, the patient can be discharged from the hospital just two days after the procedure.”

A thoracic aortic aneurysm is an abnormal bulge in a weakened wall of the aorta in the chest area which requires timely diagnosis and treatment. The standard surgical treatment for thoracic aneurysms is open-chest aneurysm repair. However, utilizing the latest technology, surgeons have been able to treat some thoracic aneurysms with a minimally-invasive surgical technique that uses a gortex-lined stent to repair the aneurysm.

“This new procedure exemplifies how modern technology can be applied to a life threatening disease resulting in faster recovery and increased safety for the patient,” Dr. Bell-Thomson said.

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