ARH Heart Institute at Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center Now Offering Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Procedure


The ARH Heart Institute at the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center and UK HealthCare are continuing their fight against heart disease by offering a minimally invasive surgical treatment option to repair abdominal aortic aneurysm, a condition that weakens the wall of the aorta and could lead to a life-threatening hemorrhaging if not treated.

Cardiologist Srinivasa Reddy Appakondu, MD and Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon Edward Setser, MD recently joined forces to perform the medical center’s first endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. The EVAR is a minimally-invasive (without a large abdominal incision) procedure that repairs the abdominal aortic aneurysm through the use of X-ray-guided stents inserted into the aorta to shrink the aneurysm.

An abdominal aortic aneurysm, also called AAA or triple A, occurs when a part of the aortic artery becomes too large, or balloons outward, due to weakness in the wall of the artery. Roughly the diameter of a garden hose, the aorta extends from the heart down through the chest and abdominal region, where it divides into a blood vessel that supplies each leg. Although an aneurysm can develop anywhere along the aorta, most occur in the section running through your abdomen (abdominal aneurysms).

“The aorta is under constant pressure as blood is ejected from the heart. With each heart beat, the walls of the aorta expand and then spring back, exerting continual pressure or stress on the already weakened aneurysm wall,” Dr. Setser says. “An aortic aneurysm is serious because - depending on its size - it may rupture, causing life-threatening internal bleeding. The risk of an aneurysm rupturing increases as the aneurysm gets larger. By providing local access to this minimally invasive treatment at Hazard ARH, we are able to repair these conditions quickly and save lives.”

About Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center
Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center is a part of the Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) system, a not-for-profit health system serving 350,000 residents across Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia. Operating 10 hospitals, multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, HomeCare Stores and retail pharmacies, ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia.

The ARH system employs nearly 5,000 employees and has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members representing various specialties.

Consistently recognized for its medical excellence, the ARH system was one of two Kentucky health systems to be named earlier this year to the 2011 SDI IHN 100 listing of the most highly integrated healthcare networks in the nation, and was selected as the 2010 Outstanding Rural Health Organization in the nation by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA).

About UK HealthCare
Established in 1957, UK HealthCare consists of the patient care activities of the University of Kentucky. UK HealthCare facilities include UK Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital, Kentucky Clinic, Markey Cancer Center and 80 specialized clinics and more than 140 outreach programs throughout Central and Eastern Kentucky. UK HealthCare is comprised of a team of 6,000 physicians, nurses, pharmacists and health care workers all dedicated to patient health. Currently, an $800 million expansion project is under way that includes a 1.2 million-square-foot facility designed to support patient care for the next 100 years. As part of the phased plan for the 12-story patient care pavilion, a new state-of-the art emergency department opened in July 2010 and public spaces including the atrium, auditorium and chapel as well as two patient floors with 128 beds opened in May 2011.

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