Waukegan, IL- (March 1, 2013)- Don Louis, 61, of North Chicago, already had a history of several strokes when he was diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). This condition occurs when the large blood vessel (aorta) that supplies blood to the abdomen, pelvis and legs, becomes abnormally large or balloons outward. If that should rupture or break open, the result is fatal.
After doctors monitored his AAA over time, Louis was referred to Omid Javadi, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon at Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan. Conventional treatment for AAA is to surgically remove and replace the worn portion of the artery. However, Dr. Javadi presented the option of a newer, minimally invasive procedure using an advanced stent, or mesh tube. Compared to conventional surgery, this procedure carries fewer risks and allows patients to leave the hospital sooner and recover faster.
“We were concerned since Mr. Louis had already suffered more than one stroke and had other issues such as kidney problems,” said Dr. Javadi. “With this procedure, we were able to do it within a couple of hours and send him home the next day. He’s continuing to do great.”
For the Louis family, being able to have this advanced procedure done so close to home was especially beneficial, according to Phyllis Louis, Don’s wife. Their son had recently undergone heart surgery at a hospital near Chicago, and Phyllis was not looking forward to the time and stress of driving back and forth again.
“It was wonderful to be able to have my husband’s surgery done so close to home,” she said. “We were very happy with the way everything went at Vista. Dr. Javadi and the entire staff took excellent care of my husband.”
Often undetected, AAA is the 13th leading cause of death in the United States and occurs even more frequently among men 55 and older. Also, an estimated two out of every three patients with a ruptured AAA die before they make it to the hospital.
Dr. Javadi was assisted by Michael Tuchek, D.O., a cardiovascular surgeon also on staff at Vista who has extensive experience in these surgeries. They used a new stent that is suitable for arteries that are smaller and sometimes more diseased. With hooks on the top, the stent grabs onto the inside of the arterial wall to help prevent it from detaching and moving through the artery.
“Using the newest generation stents, we can get to the aneurysm through the groin using small incisions instead of opening up the abdomen,” said Dr. Javadi. “We’re able to put a stent in the aneurysm so it’s no longer part of the circulation. The patients usually go back to the unit and can sit in their chair, and the next day they go home. This allows us to take care of those patients easier, better and with fewer complications.”
Dr. Javadi credits the work of the Cardiology Department at Vista along with a highly experienced operating room staff. He also emphasized the importance of AAA screening since an estimated three million Americans have this condition and are unaware of it.
“Many people don’t know they have it, and we need to find them and treat them,” he said. “There are no symptoms, and when that aneurysm ruptures, the fatal impact is almost instantaneous. We have a minimally invasive treatment for AAA, and now we even have newer generation devices that work even better. Screening is simple, and it saves lives.”
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