March 15, 2006 07:15 ET

REMINDER: Presents: Minimally-Invasive Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Repair

Surgical Webcast: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 4:00pm EST (21:00 UTC)

BALTIMORE, MD -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 15, 2006 -- Watch a webcast of surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) in Baltimore performing a thoracic aortic endograft, a minimally-invasive surgery used to repair a thoracic aortic aneurysm.

Inside a state-of-the-art operating suite, you will be able to see David G. Neschis, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (SOM) and chief of cardiac surgery, Bartley P. Griffith, M.D., a professor of surgery at SOM, use a new FDA-approved endovascular graft to prevent an aneurysm in the aorta from rupturing. William R. Flinn, M.D., professor of surgery at SOM and head of vascular surgery at UMMC, will be providing commentary.

Thoracic aortic aneurysms cause a bulge in a section of the thoracic aorta and result in a weakening of the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the body. As this bulge increases in size, the risk of rupture and internal bleeding also increases.

Until recently, patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms, pseudo-aneurysms, and injuries to the aorta from trauma, would have needed open surgery for repair -- which included a large chest incision and the temporary clamping of the aorta. Now, experienced vascular surgeons can use just one small incision during a minimally-invasive procedure to place a high-tech device inside the aorta, relieving the aneurysm from pressure. "The most significant advantage for patients is the faster recovery. They can typically go home from the hospital in a day or two," explains Dr. Neschis.

By making just a small incision in the groin, vascular surgeons are able to insert a catheter and thread a special device, called the GORE TAG Thoracic Endoprosthesis, towards the aneurysm using high-tech x-ray imaging seen on a monitor. "This device, which is about 15 centimeters long and can be 40 millimeters in diameter, creates a new pathway for blood flow, taking the pressure off the aneurysm," explains Dr. Neschis.

Symptoms of thoracic aortic aneurysms vary. Patients can experience chest, abdominal or neck pain, though some experience no pain. Typically, thoracic aortic aneurysms are diagnosed after a CT or MRI. Surgery is often a treatment option when medical management, has not worked and when the risk of rupture is considerably high.

Visit now to view a program preview. VNR

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