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November 5, 2007

Nov. 6: U-M Cardiovascular Center doctors to perform cardiovascular operation live on the World Wide Web

ANN ARBOR, MI – For patients who have a life-threatening weak spot in the upper part of their body’s largest blood vessel – a condition known as a thoracic aortic aneurysm -- the right treatment can be the difference between life and death.

Thoratic Graft
A thoracic aortic endoprosthesis after it has been deployed in the upper aorta. Image courtesy W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

But many patients aren’t strong enough to withstand a traditional open operation in this area of the aorta just inches from the heart -- so a minimally invasive procedure is their only hope for preventing a potentially deadly rupture. Others might be able to have open surgery but would experience less pain and have a shorter hospital stay if they could have minimally-invasive procedure instead.

Fortunately, new options are making it possible for doctors to repair such aneurysms without open surgery, even in the tricky upper part of the aorta.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, a University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center team will perform such a minimally invasive procedure, called an endovascular repair, with cameras capturing their every move for live broadcast over the World Wide Web.

The webcast will begin at 3 p.m. and continue until 4 p.m., and may be viewed for free via the OR Live web site, Physicians and others who watch the webcast live may send questions via e-mail to be answered by the U-M team.

After the live webcast is over, the video will be archived for free viewing at any time. A link will be available from the U-M Cardiovascular Center web site,

The team will be led by Himanshu J. Patel, MD, Assistant Professor of Cardiac Surgery and David M. Williams, MD, Professor of Radiology. They will position an expandable stent-graft device called an endoprosthesis in the diseased area of a patient’s aorta, after maneuvering the device into place through the patient’s blood vessels, starting from a small incision in the groin. The device will create a new path for blood to flow out of the heart and toward the body, sealing off the bulging area created by the weakened aorta wall.

For more information on U-M thoracic aortic care

To view a video story featuring a U-M thoracic aortic patient, visit this page on the Science Daily web site.

Patients who wish to learn more about potential thoracic aortic care at U-M may call the Cardiovascular Center toll-free at 1-888-287-1082.

The webcast is being sponsored by W.L. Gore & Associates, which makes one of the devices currently in use or in clinical trials for thoracic aortic care at U-M.

Written by Kara Gavin


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