Sentara Shows Two Live Aneurysm Repairs Over the Internet
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Sentara Shows Two Live Aneurysm Repairs Over the Internet 

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Event: Wednesday, November 4 at 10 a.m. from Sentara Norfolk General Hospital

Norfolk, Virginia – November 3, 2009 – Aneurysms or weakened areas of an artery can rupture, often without warning. Especially dangerous are those aneurysms occurring in one of the body's largest arteries-the aorta. Finding and repairing the bulges in this large vessel that provides oxygen-rich blood to organs of the chest and abdomen is the job of vascular surgeons.

From separate operating rooms, viewers from around the globe can view two surgeries as they happen to repair aortic aneurysms. One patient will have a repair to the aorta in the chest cavity as it nears the heart, known as a thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA), and the other patient will have a repair to the aorta as it leads to the kidneys, called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).

Event: Wednesday, November 4 at 10:00 a.m.
Internationally known vascular surgeon Marc H. Glickman, FACS and director of vascular services at Sentara, will serve as moderator during the live surgery webcast. Jean M. Panneton MD, FRCSC, FACS will repair the thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) while Richard J. DeMasi MD, FACS, RVT will repair the abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Both vascular surgeons will operate on separate patients in nearby operating rooms during the live webcast.

Vascular surgeons at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital repair hundreds of aneurysms each year using stents that divert blood away from the weakened sections of the artery, thereby preventing a life-threatening rupture. Many aneurysm repairs performed by the doctors of Vascular & Transplant Specialists are done less invasively through small cuts in the artery itself, rather than through open procedures involving larger incisions of the chest or abdomen and longer recovery times. Patients who have minimally invasive procedures recover faster with shorter hospitals stays and less pain.

How are aneurysms found?
About 200,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with aneurysms each year. While most feel no symptoms at all, doctors rely heavily on family history of aortic aneurysms as a way to identify people at risk of this condition. A screening test is available for people at highest risk of aortic aneurysms, and that screening is now covered by Medicare for those who are eligible. For the majority, aortic aneurysms are detected by chance while patients are being screened for unrelated conditions.

About Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAAs)
Researchers believe abdominal aortic aneurysms are caused by inflammation of the aorta. Some believe this could be related to “hardening of the arteries,” a condition where plaque builds up inside the arteries which stiffen, narrow and possibly weaken the vessel.

Other risk factors for AAAs include:
Being a male older than 60 years
Having an immediate family member who has had an AAA
Having high blood pressure

Those with symptoms describe:
Pulsing feeling in their mid section
Unexplained severe pain in their abdomen or lower back
Pain, discoloration or sores on their feet (this is a rare symptom)

About Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms (TAAs)
Research suggests thoracic aortic aneurysms are caused by “hardening of the arteries” a condition where deposits begin to block the arteries, over time making them less pliable.
People with more risk factors are at greater risk of having a thoracic aortic aneurysm.

Risk Factors for TAAs:
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Family history of heart disease

Only about half of people with thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAAs) experience any symptoms at all.

Those with symptoms of TAAs describe:
Pain in jaw, neck and upper back 
Chest or back pain, and
Coughing, hoarseness or difficulty breathing

Social media and the Live Webcast
Sentara will offer updates of the surgical procedure as it happens and answer questions received via the webcast and Twitter through its live Twitter feed. Twitter is a free microblogging service that allows users to exchange short messages. Sign up for a Twitter account.

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