Heart Center News

When Allan Richardson was diagnosed with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA), an abnormal enlargement of the aorta, the doctors near his Vermont home offered little hope. But hope was restored after a phone call to the Massachusetts General Hospital Vascular Center.

New thinking and innovation frees patient from fear of aneurysm rupture

20/Nov/2008

When Allan Richardson was diagnosed with abdominal aortic aneurysms, an abnormal enlargement of the aorta, the doctors near his Vermont home offered little hope. But hope was restored after a phone call to the Massachusetts General Hospital Vascular Center.

Allan’s doctors had been watching his abdominal aortic aneurysms grow for more than a year because, at 83, he was too old to be considered a candidate for traditional surgery.

A minimally invasive endovascular aneurysm repair was another treatment option. This procedure allows the diseased aorta to be replaced by a stent without requiring open surgery. However, Allan’s doctors did not have a stent to fit his anatomy.

Allan and his wife Evelyn feared the abdominal aortic aneurysms would rupture, causing serious complications.

“It was difficult to live with abdominal aortic aneurysms knowing that you could face a disaster at any time and without any warning,” he said

Refusing to believe there was no way to help her husband; Evelyn called the Massachusetts General Hospital Vascular Center, where doctors offered a more hopeful outlook on Allan’s condition. Instead of turning him away, doctors fashioned a custom stent to fit his aorta, allowing them to perform the minimally invasive procedure successfully.

Now the Richardsons do not have to live in fear of a rupture.

“What a wonderful experience this has been for us,” wrote Evelyn in a note to Allan’s doctors. “From the first person that we talked to in Waltham to the last person we talked to at the time of discharge, everyone has been so very nice. Your staff and team are all outstanding.”

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