2012 Barnes-Jewish Hospital Report to the Community

A.G. Overfelt

A.G. Overfelt
A.G. Overfelt, Granite City, Illinois

Customizable fenestrated stents plant the seed for a faster recovery

Seventy-three-year-old A.G. Overfelt's abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) was discovered in early 2012. An AAA is a diseased, weakened and bulging section of the wall of the aorta. Until recently, the only option for some patients was an open surgical procedure. The size and location of A.G.'s aneurysm made intervention a necessity but the hospital where he sought treatment delivered some bad news. "With your kidney problems, heart problems and lung problems, we can't help you here," he recalls hearing. "The aneurysm was in a difficult location for a normal stent and because of those other health conditions, they didn't want to open me up."

In April 2012, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of fenestrated endovascular stents. Customized for the specific anatomy of each patient, the stents are made of a fabric tube supported by a metal framework with carefully positioned holes to allow blood to continue to flow to the kidney and intestinal arteries.

"That's when I was sent to Dr. Sanchez. He told me about the new device and said he could help me," says A.G. "By that point, I couldn't even spend time outside because it was too much effort for me."

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A.G. Overfelt
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"He wasn't a good candidate for an open surgical repair," says Luis Sanchez, MD, Washington University chief of vascular surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "This new fenestrated stent allowed us to repair the aneurysm while keeping the recovery time to a minimum. It's less invasive with a lower complication rate and shorter recovery time. All those things were imperative for a patient like Mr. Overfelt."

Although regular checkups and one adjustment were required, A.G. is grateful for the new technology. "It's a relief. The other doctors told me they couldn't do anything for me."

"Caring for patients who have had a stent is very different than those who have an open procedure. The recovery time is faster and they are in much less pain and discomfort, and can go home sooner."

Brad Stone, BSN, RN
staff nurse on vascular unit 7500 who cared for A.G.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Hospital Stay
Traditional Open Surgery: 7-10 days. Fenestrated STent: 2 days. 99% survival rate for patients undergoing AAA repair at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, one of the best rates in the country. 80% of patients who undergo an aneurysm procedure at teh Heart & Vascular Center are now being treated with a minimally invasive technique.