Aortic aneurysms are silent killers. They can drop you in an instant and occur in people of all ages. Because of this there is a huge push led by John Ritter's wife Amy Yasbeck to increase awareness, improve screening for aortic aneurysms, and most importantly prevent tragedies.
I've been hearing about a procedure to correct aortic aneurysms using stent grafts. Has anyone had an aortic aneurysm repaired using this procedure? I am very satisfied with the open heart surgery I had. I believe I had the best procedure available, by the best surgeon. My aortic valve is tricuspid and had no leakage, therefore the "valve-sparing" surgery Dr. Stewart performed on my seemed like the most logical option.
Recovery from open heart surgery for any procedure is very difficult, but at this moment in time I don't believe there is an alternative in many cases. One certainly wouldn't want to trade the effectiveness of an open heart surgery, for an inferior procedure done less invasively. It would be nice though to have a minimally invasive option to repair a major aortic aneurysm. The first question that pops into my head is on the durability of this "stent graft" option. If I understand it correctly they fish a catheter up a vein in your thigh into the aorta, and then they send up a stent which they expand into place forming an artificial channel bypassing the area that is enlarged. I'd like to hear of anyone's experience with this as a patient or doctor. Furthermore has anyone heard of any exciting new developments in repairing aneurysms?