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Temple University Hospital First in Region to Offer Innovative New Option for Patients with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

August 4, 2014grayson h. wheatley, III, md, facs


Temple University Hospital is the first hospital in the Philadelphia region to offer an innovative, minimally-invasive technology that improves long-term outcomes for patients with complex anatomies undergoing endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms (EVAR). The Aorfix™ Endovascular Stent Graft utilizes a flexible, helical and circular design to conform to the natural contours of human anatomy, including highly-angled aortic necks. Aorfix, manufactured by Lombard Medical, Inc., is the only FDA-approved endovascular stent graft for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms in patients with aortic neck angulations up to 90 degrees.

"This new technology allows us to offer patients with unique anatomies a minimally-invasive alternative to traditional open surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair," said Grayson H. Wheatley, III, MD, FACS, Associate Professor of Surgery at Temple University School of Medicine, and Director of Aortic & Endovascular Surgery at TUH.

An abdominal aortic aneurysym (AAA) is a weakening of the wall of the aorta, the major vessel carrying the blood from the heart to the rest of the body. If left untreated, an aneurysm may rupture, which is life-threatening. According to the Society for Vascular Surgery, approximately 200,000 new AAAs are diagnosed in U.S. patients annually, mostly in patients over 65 years of age. Research has shown that about 20 percent of patients who undergo EVAR have aortic neck angulations that are too great to be treated on-label with current stent grafts.

Surgeons deliver the Aorfix through a catheter to the site of the aneurysm. Its flexible design conforms to the aorta and has been shown to be effective at providing a leak-resistant seal between the stent and the wall of the aorta. In addition to being able to handle complex angles in the aorta, the design of the Aorfix allows surgeons to place it higher up in the aorta without covering the renal arteries.

"We at the Temple Heart and Vascular Institute are proud to offer our patients the latest in leading-edge cardiovascular surgical treatments," said Dr. Wheatley. "Being the first in the Philadelphia region to offer this technology reaffirms Temple's position as a leader in the provision of aortic and endovascular surgical care."

Editor's Note: Neither Dr. Wheatley nor any member of his immediate family has financial interest in Lombard Medical, Inc.