Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgical Associates was the first practice in the southeastern United States to introduce the FDA-approved Gore EXCLUDER® Conformable AAA Endoprosthesis to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) – aneurysms found inside the largest blood vessel of the body. Our vascular surgeon, Erin Moore, MD, FACS, RPVI, implanted his first device yesterday, March 31, 2021, in the cardiovascular operating room located at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, Florida.
What are Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA)?
The abdominal aorta is a section of the aorta blood vessel located within the abdomen. The main function of the aorta is to carry blood away from the heart to the rest of the body. Sometimes, due to vascular disease, injury or genetic defect, the walls of the aorta can become weakened. When there is continuous pressure against a weakened area, an aneurysm can occur.
Risk Factors for developing a AAA include:
- Family History of AAA
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
Symptoms & Treatment
Symptoms of AAA can include:
- Pain in the abdomen, chest or back
- Throbbing sensation in the abdomen
- Tenderness of the abdomen
- There are also many cases where patients experience no symptoms at all
If left untreated, aneurysms can grow and have the potential to burst (rupture) which causes bleeding inside the body.
There are two approaches for treatment: open-surgical repair or endovascular repair. During open-surgical repair, the patient is placed under general anesthesia and an incision is made in the abdomen. The aorta is repaired by removing the aneurysm and replacing with a fabric graft that is sewn in.
Benefits of Endovascular Repair
The Gore EXCLUDER® Conformable AAA Endoprosthesis permanently seals off aneurysms located in the abdominal section of the aorta and maintains the pathway for blood to circulate unobstructed. The device can be implanted while a patient is under local, regional or general anesthesia through a small puncture site in the groin, eliminating the need for invasive, open surgery to restore blood flow.
Implanted by a physician using real-time X-ray imaging called fluoroscopy, the device is made up of two pieces, a flexible body created from a long-lasting synthetic material and a sturdy outer metal stent structure. When inserted, it reduces blood loss compared to traditional, open surgery where the abdomen is cut open to access the aneurysm, speeding recovery and helping patients leave the hospital faster following their procedure.
Dr. Erin Moore was one of six physicians in the U.S. to be the first to offer this device to patients affected by abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA).
“AAAs can cause the largest blood vessel in a patient’s body, the aorta, to swell to several times its normal size. If the aneurysm grows too large, it can rupture, resulting in significant injury or even death,” Dr. Moore said. “This device eliminates the risk of aortic aneurysm rupture through a low-risk, minimally invasive intervention and will significantly improve the peace of mind for AAA patients post-procedure.”
Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgical Associates prides itself in being at the forefront of innovation and technology for the benefit of our patients. Our board-certified vascular surgeons are trained in both open-surgical and minimally invasive endovascular procedures. To learn more about the conditions we treat, visit our website here.
To learn more about Gore EXCLUDER Conformable AAA Endoprosthesis, click here.