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Innovative procedure means care closer to home

Posted Mar 21st, 2017

Innovative procedure means care closer to home

Innovative procedure to repair aneurysms now provided in Niagara

Tom Paolone was grateful when he learned a procedure to repair an aneurysm in his aorta could be performed in Niagara.

The Welland resident was the first patient to receive the Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR) procedure at Niagara Health’s St. Catharines Site. The introduction of the life-saving procedure to Niagara is another example of care closer to home for residents in the region. As of August 2017, nearly 30 EVAR procedures have been performed at Niagara Health.

“It was fantastic, especially for my wife. She didn’t have to worry about travelling a long distance or booking a hotel room out of town. It took a lot of worry off of my shoulders,” says Mr. Paolone, who spent one night in hospital after the procedure before returning home. “I was very thankful to have the procedure done in Niagara. I was away from home in the hospital, but the healthcare team made me feel at home. I was in good hands.”

Niagara Health surgical teams started performing the innovative EVAR procedure in February.

“This is another example of improved access to care for Niagara residents,” says Jaelynne Sonke, Clinical Manager of the St. Catharines Site Operating Room, Post Anesthetic Recovery Room and Day Surgery. “The introduction of this minimally invasive procedure to Niagara also reflects our continued focus on innovation.”

Dr. Surianarayanan Rammohan, one of three Vascular Surgeons at Niagara Health performing the EVAR procedure, adds: "Our surgical teams are delighted to be able to provide the EVAR procedure in Niagara. The introduction of this service illustrates the extraordinary care provided at Niagara Health.”

The aorta is the main vessel that carries blood from your heart to the rest of your body. An aneurysm occurs when part of this vessel has weakened and ballooned out. The major complication is aneurysm rupture, which requires life-saving surgery.

Abdominal aneurysms can be repaired in two ways, depending upon a patient’s condition:

  • Open Repair, in which a large incision is made in the abdomen to expose the aorta and the aneurysm is repaired with a graft.
  • EVAR, a less-invasive technique in which a surgeon makes a small incision in the groin and threads special instruments through a catheter in the artery to the aneurysm, where a stent and graft are placed to support the aneurysm.

Patients who receive the EVAR procedure spend less time in hospital after the procedure, often returning home the following day.

Steven Gallagher, Communications Specialist
905-378-4647, ext. 43879 I 289-696-6767 (cell)

Niagara Health System