Calgary surgeons successful with less invasive heart surgery
Surgeons use stent graft to reinforce weak artery in the heart rather than open heart surgery
Calgary surgeons have been successful using a less invasive way to repair the weakening of the heart's main artery.
The condition usually requires open heart surgery for aneurysms in the upper aorta, where blood flows to the brain.
A cardiac surgeon at the University of Calgary has instead successfully used a stent graft specially designed for the patient.
"A customized graft was made for [the patient] with specific branches in the top part of the graft in order to allow blood flow to his head," said Dr. Jehangir Appoo, the cardiac surgeon involved.
The stent graft, or tube, is inserted through the neck and groin and up to the heart to reinforce the artery's wall.
So far it's been done on one Calgary patient, although it's been tried about 40 times around the world.
Appoo says the procedure helps patients recover more quickly and cut down on the amount of time patients spend in hospital after the surgery from several weeks to just a few days.