An aneurysm is like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. If left untreated, it can enlarge until it ruptures, causing severe bleeding inside the body or sudden death. The problem is, most people with aneurysms don't even know they have one. Aneurysms usually occur in the aorta, the largest artery in the human body. The aorta, which is typically less than an inch in diameter, carries blood from the heart to the chest and abdomen. An aneurysm is present when a bulge in the aorta increases it to more than one and a half to two times its normal width.
For patients who warrant a surgical intervention to treat abdominal and thoracic (chest) aortic aneurysms, as well as aneurysms in other areas of the body, Chilton Medical Center offers a less-invasive and safer option called an endovascular stent graft, (a.k.a. endostent). The endostent is essentially a tube composed of fabric supported by a metal mesh. It is designed to help prevent the aneurysm from rupturing. It seals tightly with the artery above and below the aneurysm, allowing blood to pass through it without pushing on the bulge. Another positive feature of this procedure is that the graft is somewhat preoperatively tailored to the patient. If the surgery can be planned (non-emergency), the patient's vessels are measured for a custom fit.
The major benefits of the endostent procedure for the patient include:
- Shorter recovery time
- Less blood loss
- Less chance of post-operative complications
- Only a small incision in the artery or vein
Visit the Atlantic Health System physician referral service and search for a Chilton Medical Center physician or call 1-800-247-9580.