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For Immediate Release
Sinai Hospital Enhances Its Minimally Invasive Procedures
Doctors perform hospital's first stent-graft for a thoracic
In August, doctors at Sinai
Hospital of Baltimore successfully performed the hospital's first
thoracic aneurysm stent-graft surgery.
"The success of this surgery
speaks to the level of commitment Sinai Hospital and the medical staff have to
improving the treatment options for its patients,” said Adrian Barbul, M.D.,
chief of the Department of Surgery.
After Frank Meisel was diagnosed with
prostate cancer, additional X-rays and tests uncovered a thoracic aneurysm or
ballooning of an artery in his chest. At 78 years old with asthma, Meisel, of
Middle River, Md., didn't think he could survive another major operation.
His primary care physician referred Meisel to the office of Mark Gonze,
M.D., a vascular surgeon with Sinai Hospital. After reviewing Meisel's medical
history, Gonze recommended the stent-graft surgery, a technique used for years
in repairing abdominal aneurysms and is currently being used for the treatment
of aneurysms that develop in the chest.
"New advances in technology now
allow us to repair arteries without major surgery,” said Gonze. "With many of
those suffering from aneurysms in the aging population, this minimally invasive
surgery offers another option to those who are not well enough to undergo a
In this relatively new surgery, doctors make a small
incision in a patient's leg, allowing them to thread a small tube through an
artery to the chest. X-rays help doctors guide the tube into the artery. Once in
place, the plastic tube channels blood away from the damaged tissue. The
stent-graft procedure is still a fairly new technique in repairing damaged
arteries, and patients are educated on the risk of the procedure.
understood there was a lot of risk in undergoing this new surgery,” said Meisel.
"However, a person at my age with asthma, it was the only way to go. I consider
it a blessing that the procedure was available.”
Providing Patients With Options
traditionally require major surgery to repair the damaged artery, which includes
a large incision in the chest and the removal of several of the patient's ribs.
The invasive procedure usually entails a two to three-week hospital stay with an
additional month of outpatient recovery. With the stent-graft surgery,
Meisel went home within a few days of the surgery.
"The recovery from the
surgery has been great,” commented Meisel, who had undergone abdominal surgery
in the past. "The only discomfort I had was from the a drain put in place to
reduce the build-up of fluid.”
According to Gonze, with only 50 percent
of aneurysm patients well enough to undergo a major operation, the stent-graft
procedure is a safe alternative to invasive surgery by dramatically reducing the
stress on a patient's heart and lungs, equating to a shorter hospital stay and
Each year, approximately 15,000 Americans die of a
ruptured aortic aneurysm according to the Society of Thoracic
Sinai Hospital of Baltimore is a member of LifeBridge
Health, a regional health organization, which includes Northwest Hospital Center, Levindale Hebrew
Geriatric Center and Hospital, Jewish
Convalescent & Nursing Home, and related subsidiaries and
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