Dr. Steve Henao, an endovascular surgeon at New Mexico Heart Institute, recently performed the first life-saving percutaneous repair of a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm at Heart Hospital at New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center. This was the first operation of its kind in the United States.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a ballooning or dilatation of the aorta, the largest artery in the body that carries blood from the heart through the abdomen. AAAs are present in 1.3% of men aged 45–54 years and 12.5% of men aged 75–84 years. Rupture of an AAA carries a risk of death up to 90%.
Traditional treatment involves extensive abdominal and pelvic surgery, and hospitalization lasting over a week or more. Subsequent recovery can last months, sometimes involving rehabilitation.
Dr. Henao, who was trained at the world famous DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, performed a virtually incision-less surgery using the most advanced technology available, with the latest generation of ‘stent-graft’ devices that repair the disease from inside the patient’s blood vessel, re-routing blood away from the life-threatening aortic tear.
The patient went home in less than 48 hours. He was seen one month later and is “feeling great.”