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New endovascular graft gives hope to some aortic aneurysm patients

Houston, TX - 10/10/2012

MDHVC can now offer a new kind of branched aortic graft to its patients.

The Zenith Fenestrated AAA Endovascular Graft can be implanted using minimally invasive techniques, meaning patients for whom open surgery is deemed risky have a new option at Methodist. The Zenith is produced by Cook Medical.

Methodist is the first hospital in Houston to offer the new graft, which was approved by the FDA for general use in April (2012).

"This represents another technological leap in the treatment of complex aortic aneurysms, allowing us to avoid big open operations in even more patients and to offer treatment for those who were previously excluded from any therapy," said Alan Lumsden, M.D., chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery at Methodist.

Lumsden is internationally renowned for his work in minimally invasive aortic therapies.

The graft is branched so it can be used to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms that also affect -- or could affect -- renal arteries or other vessels that lead away from the aorta. Until recently, aneurysms that encroached on blood vessels to the kidneys or intestines were excluded from minimally invasive therapy.

"These branch grafts are a form of personalized medicine, too," Dr. Lumsden said. "The graft and its branches are custom-made for every patient's unique aortic anatomy. Such customization is made possible by Methodist's excellent imaging capabilities, and 3-D planning software based on the patient's own CT scan. These 3-D images can also be imported and used to guide the implantation process in a minimally invasive fashion using Methodist's hybrid operating room -- one of the most sophisticated in the United States."

Cook Medical is based in Bloomington, Ind.

For more information about the graft, please contact:

Methodist Aortic Network
713-DEBAKEY (713-332-2539)
mdhvc@tmhs.org