HAZARD, Ky. December 21, 2011 – The ARH Heart Institute at the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center and UK HealthCare are continuing their fight against heart disease by offering a minimally invasive surgical treatment option to repair abdominal aortic aneurysm, a condition that weakens the wall of the aorta and could lead to a life-threatening hemorrhaging if not treated.
Cardiologist Srinivasa Reddy Appakondu, MD and Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon Edward Setser, MD recently joined forces to perform the medical center’s first endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. The EVAR is a minimally-invasive (without a large abdominal incision) procedure that repairs the abdominal aortic aneurysm through the use of X-ray-guided stents inserted into the aorta to shrink the aneurysm.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm, also called AAA or triple A, occurs when a part of the aortic artery becomes too large, or balloons outward, due to weakness in the wall of the artery. Roughly the diameter of a garden hose, the aorta extends from the heart down through the chest and abdominal region, where it divides into a blood vessel that supplies each leg. Although an aneurysm can develop anywhere along the aorta, most occur in the section running through your abdomen (abdominal aneurysms).
“The aorta is under constant pressure as blood is ejected from the heart. With each heart beat, the walls of the aorta expand and then spring back, exerting continual pressure or stress on the already weakened aneurysm wall,” Dr. Setser says. “An aortic aneurysm is serious because - depending on its size - it may rupture, causing life-threatening internal bleeding. The risk of an aneurysm rupturing increases as the aneurysm gets larger. By providing local access to this minimally invasive treatment at Hazard ARH, we are able to repair these conditions quickly and save lives.”