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UCSF vascular surgeons develop new technique to repair aortic arch aneurysm

ommercially available stentgrafts.

Many of these aneurysms involve parts of the aorta that have branches to critical body organs.

Because of severe heart and lung disease, the patient presented in this paper was not a candidate for a traditional open aortic arch repair. In the traditional repair, the sternum is opened and the patient is placed on a bypass machine. Surgeons remove the abnormal part of the arch and replace it with a graft. Because these patients undergo a procedure involving a large chest incision, heart-lung bypass, circulatory arrest and body cooling, serious complications and death are not uncommon, according to Schneider.

The endovascular stentgraft technique minimizes these complications. In addition to a lower risk of death or complications, the stentgraft patient spent only three to four days in the hospital, compared to seven or more days for traditional graft surgery, he said.

Schneider is the first graduate of an integrated fellowship program in vascular surgery and interventional radiology being pioneered at UCSF Medical Center. The fellowship offers a year-long accredited fellowship in interventional radiology. This is followed by an additional year-long fellowship in vascular surgery.

"As more and more vascular surgery procedures are performed with minimally invasive radiological techniques, it's critical to integrate training in both disciplines," said Schneider.

UCSF's vascular surgery program continues to be a national leader in stentgraft aneurysm repair. Chuter has performed more than 500 stentgraft procedures at UCSF Medical Center since 1996.

Aortic aneurysms are now the tenth leading cause of death among American men and the thirteenth leading cause of death in women. It is unclear why aneurysms are becoming more common, even what causes them, although diet and genetics are likely contributing factors, according to Schneider.


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Contact: Maureen McInaney or Janet Basu
jbasu@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-8429
University of California - San Francisco
16-Oct-2003


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