First human implant of device for aortic injury in U.S. performed

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Washington, Feb 11 (ANI): Doctors at Scott and White Memorial Hospital have performed one of America's first implants of a Next Generation Conformable GORE TAG Thoracic Endoprosthesis device for the treatment of a traumatic aortic transection as part of a national clinical trial.

The trial, performed by surgeons Clifford Buckley, M.D., and Ruth Bush, M.D., will help gain insight into using thoracic endografts for patients with traumatic aortic transection (tear) as a less invasive alternative to major surgery.

"This is the first time this procedure has been performed on a human as part of a landmark study and is the first device being studied for traumatic aortic transection specifically," said Dr. Buckley, a professor of surgery at Texas A andM Health Science Center College of Medicine. "Because Scott and White Memorial Hospital is the only designated Level I trauma center between Dallas and Austin, TX, we're able to provide such cutting-edge care for patients with these traumatic injuries."

Traumatic thoracic aortic transections often result in death and injury to the thoracic aorta from motor vehicle accidents.

Patients who survive usually have small tears or partial thickness tears of the aortic wall and the aorta is at greatest risk in front or side impacts. Most blunt aortic injuries occur in the proximal thoracic aorta, although any portion of the aorta is at risk. The proximal descending aorta is at greatest risk from the shearing forces of sudden deceleration.

"Trauma patients with thoracic aortic transections often have multiple, complex injuries that increase the risk of standard surgical repair of the aorta," said Dr. Bush who is also assistant dean of graduate medical education at Texas A andM Health Science Center College of Medicine. "So, a minimally-invasive treatment option like this could provide an opportunity to care for patients who might otherwise be too sick or have injuries too serious to undergo a major operation to gain access to the aorta that often requires stopping the heart."

Endovascular procedures are less invasive than major "open" surgery and involve sealing off an aneurysm by placing the endovascular graft inside the aorta, re-lining and making a new path for blood flow. The GORE TAG thoracic endograft remains inside the aorta permanently through the use of a metal stent creating a tight fit and seal against the wall of the aorta. (ANI)

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