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Yale Medicine Surgeons Among First to Employ Branched Stent Graft System for Minimally Invasive Treatment of Thoracoabdominal Aortic Pathologies

November 08, 2021
by Cecelia Smith

A multidisciplinary team of surgeons from Yale's Aortic Institute and the Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy, both part of Yale New Haven Health’s Heart and Vascular Center, is among the first in the country to employ a novel aortic stent graft system for the minimally invasive treatment of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms.

“Our ability to deliver cutting-edge technology to patients who need it most is a testament to the innovation and skill of our Faculty, and the Department of Surgery’s commitment to promoting collaboration and outside-the-box thinking,” said Division Chief of Cardiac Surgery, Dr. Arnar Geirsson.

Yale Medicine Vascular Surgeon, Dr. Naiem Nassiri and Yale Medicine Cardiac Surgeon, Dr. Prashanth Vallabhajosyula performed the first case at YNHH last month with on-site guidance from Dr. Patrick Kelly of Sanford Health (South Dakota). Dr. Kelly invented the four-branch platform, which has received Breakthrough Device designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The novel design allows surgeons to provide endovascular treatment to an increasing number of patients with thoracoabdominal aneurysm and dissections who are ineligible for open surgery that is the traditional means of repair.

Bringing this technology to Yale can truly revolutionize the way we care for patients with complex thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms.

Dr. Prashanth Vallabhajosyula, Surgical Director of the Aortic Institute

“With just two needle punctures in the groin and a small incision in the upper arm, we can safely perform an otherwise very complex and lengthy operation in a staged manner, reducing the toll on the patient. Moreover, the technology can be used in a variety of settings beyond the treatment of aneurysms, including dissecting thoracoabdominal aortopathies, and previously failed repairs,” said Dr. Nassiri.

Yale is one of the first institutions to implement the modified and updated version of the platform in a clinical setting outside of Sanford. Drs. Nassiri and Vallabhajosyula have performed two surgeries with the system, including the first in October and the second in a patient with a ruptured dissecting thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm.

“Both patients have done well and are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to receive this treatment option here at Yale,” said Dr. Vallabhajosyula. “We are excited about the future of this program which can truly revolutionize the way we care for patients with complex thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms.”

Submitted by Stevi Kramer on November 09, 2021