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Ed G.'s Story

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Endovascular Aneurysm Repair

A Life-Changing Discovery

Nearly two months after Ed was diagnosed with prostate cancer, a routine urologic work-up delivered a new blow, this one even more devastating: He had a very large abdominal aortic aneurysm — a potentially life-threatening “bulge” in the body’s main blood vessel.

Ed was shocked. He hadn’t experienced any symptoms, which is not uncommon for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. And, most are found incidentally, as his was.

Ed G. - abdominal aortic aneurysm patient at Temple

Ed — Temple patient who was diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Time was of the essence. Surgery is generally recommended when an abdominal aortic aneurysm is 5 centimeters or larger because of the risk of rupture. Ed’s was 9 centimeters!

Once an abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptures, death is almost certain without immediate treatment.

Getting Treatment Fast

Ed made an appointment that day at the Temple Heart & Vascular Institute with Frank Schmieder, MD, FACS, Chief of Vascular Surgery at Jeanes Hospital, who impressed upon him the urgent need to operate.

A couple of days later, Dr. Schmieder performed an endovascular aneurysm repair on Ed. This advanced, minimally invasive procedure uses a small catheter to place a compressed stent at the site of the aneurysm. The stent then opens to provide a strong, tight-fitting scaffold for the aortic wall.

It’s a safer technique than the traditional surgery because it requires only small incisions at the groin, rather than a large one across the abdomen. This often translates into less time in the hospital, decreased blood loss and a decreased risk of infection.

I found the right vascular surgeon for me, the best doctor, really.

- Ed

Ever-Grateful for a Blessed Life

Ed headed home from the hospital two days after the procedure, and he returned to work about a month later. He says he was back to most of his normal activities long before then, though.

“Dr. Schmieder was great,” Ed says. “He explained everything clearly and then gave us his cell phone number and asked my wife to call him if she had any questions before or after the procedure.”

Ed recently saw Dr. Schmieder again to review the results of a follow-up scan. His new stent is working exactly as it should be. He’s still undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, but Ed says it’s hard for him to feel anything but blessed.

“First, because of the way the aneurysm was discovered,” he says. “And, then, because I found the right vascular surgeon for me, the best doctor, really.”

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