HOUSTON (June 09, 2010)

Kourosh Keyhani, DO, an endovascular surgeon affiliated with Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital, is now performing a new procedure at the hospital - Endovascular Aneurysm Repairs on patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). AAAs affect approximately 2 million people in the U.S., with 200,000 new cases being diagnosed every year.

"The aorta is the body's largest blood vessel. Over time, the aorta's wall may develop a weak spot that stretches like a balloon. The ballooned area is called an aneurysm," said Dr. Keyhani. "So, an abdominal aortic aneurysm is a localized ballooning of the aorta in the abdominal cavity."

AAAs occur most commonly in individuals between 65 and 75 years old and are more common in men and smokers. They tend to cause no symptoms, although occasionally they cause pain in the abdomen, back and legs. The major complication of AAA is rupture, which can be life-threatening.

There are currently two methods of treating AAAs - open surgery and endovascular aneurysm repair. Endovascular aneurysm repair, the method Dr. Keyhani and his team perform, uses no incisions and delivers a self-expanding graft into the abdominal aorta via the femoral arteries. The stent graft is flexible and conforms to the structure of the normal aorta above the aneurysm, preventing blood from entering the aneurysm. The stent graft then remains in the patient for life and is inspected during periodic follow-up visits.

"Endovascular aneurysm repair is a reliable alternative to open surgery," added Dr. Keyhani. "It's less invasive, which translates to less blood loss during surgery, shorter hospital stays and shorter recovery periods."

AAAs can be detected by a vascular screening, which is short, painless and non-invasive. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 713.867.3336.