Dr. Golan at North Shore Vascular 1-847-441-2700
The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It carries blood through the abdomen to the legs. When a weak area of the aorta in the abdomen begins to bulge or expand, it is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Aneurysms are a serious health risk because they can leak or rupture. A ruptured AAA can cause severe internal bleeding which can be fatal.
Thankfully, AAA is not a common occurrence, yet it is by no means rare. Each year, physicians diagnose approximately 200,000 people with AAA, and since there are typically no symptoms – an estimated additional one million people go undiagnosed. AAA is the 17th leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 15,000+ deaths a year and is the third leading cause of sudden death in men over 60. When diagnosed early, though, AAA can be treated successfully. AAA is often diagnosed through ultrasound imaging. AAAs which measure 5cm or greater are recommended for elective surgical repair.
Treatment of AAA has changed considerably in the past 12 years. In 1999, vascular surgeons began employing endovascular surgical techniques to repair AAAs. Approximately 75% of treatable aneurysms can be successfully repaired with an endovascular stent graft. Dr. Golan has performed over 250 endovascular aneurysm repairs in his career.
With the advent of endovascular aneurysm treatment, open surgeries by vascular surgeons have decreased dramatically. However, not all abdominal aortic aneurysms can be repaired using the endovascular technique. And for those remaining 25% of patients, vascular experience counts big time. As a vascular surgeon with over 25 years experience, Dr. Golan has performed over 600 open AAA repairs. That experience translates into many hours in the operating room resulting in the breadth of knowledge, skill, and sound judgment so necessary for successful surgical outcomes.
Dr. Golan treats this serious condition in 3 different ways, depending on the size of the AAA:
Small aneurysms (less than 5cm) can usually be "watched" or monitored for changes in size. However, an aneurysm will not go away by itself, and so it is important to follow up regularly with a vascular surgeon.
Today, the majority of abdominal aneurysms can be repaired through the less invasive vascular surgery procedure, endovascular stent graft. Typically, the patient's hospital stay is reduced to 1-2 days. Dr. Golan is credentialed to use endografts from the top three manufacturers – Medtronic (and see a detailed Medtronic Patient Information Booklet about Endovascular Stent Grafts for AAA ), Gore, and Cook.