Sponsored by Middlesex Hospital
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (CT STYLE) — At 71 years old, Gary Autentico doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon.
“I just like what i’m doing,” he said about his job in construction. “I like getting up every day, going to work.”
But this reality was almost cut short by a silent killer lurking in his body.
“An abdominal aneurysm is an abnormal bulging or dilation of an artery that’s similar to a water balloon when it’s blown up,” explained Megan Shue, M.D., a vascular surgeon at Middlesex Hospital.
The condition often goes unnoticed, until it’s too late.
“If it ruptures, most people don’t survive,” said Bart Muhs, M.D., Ph.D., a vascular surgeon at Middlesex Hospital.
Drs. Muhs and Shue recently performed a cutting edge procedure on Autentico using a new kind of stent.
“A fenestrated graft allows us to treat more of these aneurysms with stent grafts in this minimally invasive technique,” Dr. Shue said.
“The difference with a fenestrated graft is it allows us to treat aneurysms that include arteries that branch off to important structures, like arteries to your kidneys or arteries to your intestines,” Dr. Muhs explained.
The fenestrated graft is custom built to fit each patient’s anatomy. Then through a small puncture in the groin, it’s threaded through the femoral artery, up to the aneurysm.
“There are many pieces that go into building a fenestrated stent graft, and they’re all put together in your body, and it requires high level imaging,” Dr. Muhs said. “It’s like building a ship inside of a bottle.”
With advances like a high tech surgery suite, and the expansion of staff, Middlesex Hospital provides a full spectrum of vascular services.
“Traditionally [the fenestrated graft procedure] has been done at tertiary hospitals, but now all of those capabilities are available here at Middlesex Hospital,” explained Dr. Muhs.
Autentico was home the day after his procedure, and back at work within weeks.
“I’m incredibly happy and I feel good,” he said. “I’m gonna keep going as long as I can go.”
To learn more, visit MiddlesexHospital.org.