Groundbreaking vascular technology dramatically improves surgery outcomes

Williamson Medical Center

Prior to the March 2016 FDA approval of a game-changing piece of vascular stent technology, a patient with a large iliac artery aneurysm would have been cut open from their sternum to the pelvis, stayed in the hospital for up to two weeks and endured a three-month recovery period.

But on July 22, Sina Iranmanesh, M.D., performed Middle Tennessee’s first endovascular repair of bilateral iliac artery aneurysms at Williamson Medical Center with two small needle pricks in the patient’s groin area. The surgery took about three hours, the patient went home the next day and was up and about 24 hours later with no complications.

“Honestly, we have gone from a major surgery with frequent complications to being able to do the same procedure without even making a real incision,” Iranmanesh says.

An iliac artery aneurysm refers to an area of weakness and bulging in a pelvic artery that, if untreated, can lead to life-threatening bleeding if it bursts. Aneurysms of the aorta and iliac arteries can be found in up to 5 percent of male smokers.

The iliac arteries carry oxygenated blood to the pelvis and legs. When sections of that artery weaken and can’t support the force of blood flow, an aneurysm, or stretched section of the artery, occurs. The danger is that the aneurysm can grow to several times its normal size and rupture, which is often fatal and a leading cause of death.

So improving upon the way these aneurysms are repaired is monumental and until this iliac branch device gained FDA approval, the previous surgical methods were marginal at best.

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