Emory Report
October 6, 2008
Volume 61, Number 7



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October 6
, 2008
Emory first in state to use new life-saving aneurysm device

By Jennifer Johnson

Aortic aneurysms are dangerous bulges or weaknesses in the body’s largest artery that can rupture with fatal consequences if left untreated. Emory University Hospital is using an innovative new medical device for minimally invasive treatment of these aneurysms.

The new stent graft, recently approved by the FDA, gives an extra 25 percent of patients the option of endovascular aneurysm repair.

Emory surgeon Karthi-keshwar Kasirajan is among the first few physicians in the United States and the first in Georgia to use the new device.

“This is an exciting advancement in endovascular treatment that we are proud to offer patients in Atlanta and around the region,” says Kasirajan. “It allows us to treat more aortic aneurysm patients than ever using a non-invasive method that gets our patients back on their feet within days, rather than weeks compared to open surgical repair.”

Thoracic aneurysms affect 10 out of every 100,000 older Americans, and this rate is steadily increasing. Prevention of thoracic aneurysms includes stopping smoking, controlling blood pressure and blood lipid levels, and routine exercise. They are usually detected through CT scans. Treatment involves either invasive open surgical repair or the minimally invasive approach with stent grafts.

In this less invasive approach, two small incisions are made in the groin and the stent is inserted through the femoral artery to reach the aneurysm. By creating a new pathway for blood flow, the stent graft reduces pressure on the aneurysm and thus the risk of rupture.

“We have better options for treating patients than ever before, but we can only treat the aneurysms we know about,” says Kasirajan. “People with known risk factors should get screened. The decision to be screened could be a life-saving choice.”

The new stent grafts make the procedure accessible to more patients because of the grafts’ unique features, including a wide range of diameters. In clinical studies, the new stent grafts resulted in fewer postoperative complications and shorter recovery times than open surgical repair.

For more information, please contact Emory Health Connection at 404-778-7777 or 1-800-75-EMORY.