Endovascular Thoracic Aneurysm Surgery Performed at MHOB

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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.