Device Provides Significant Advantages in Treatment of Aortic Aneurysms
Endovascular surgeons at Boca Raton Regional Hospital are now utilizing
the Zenith® t-Branch™ Stent Graft to repair life-threatening
thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAAs). The device and surgical technique
is only available at eight centers in the country. Boca Regional is the
only hospital in South Florida and one of two in the state, the other
being the University of Florida, to offer the t-Branch.
An aortic aneurysm is an abdominal enlargement of a section of the aorta
that is at least twice its normal size, or approximately two and a half
inches across. Once an aortic aneurysm reaches this size or larger, the
wall of the aorta becomes so thin that it can rupture and lead to sudden death.
“This type of TAAA is usually treated by a complicated six-hour
surgery that requires an incision that almost splits the body in half,
starting from the back of the ribcage to below the belly button,”
said W. Anthony Lee, MD, Director of the Endovascular Program at Boca
Regional’s Christine E. Lynn Heart & Vascular Institute.
The conventional operation for this condition represents probably the
biggest surgical trauma the human body can tolerate, and involves the
aneurysm being resected and replaced with a graft that is hand-sewn with
sutures. The typical hospital stay involves up to one week in intensive
care and a two to three week hospital stay. The risk of death and complications
associated with the procedure are significant and postoperative recovery
can take months.
“Utilizing the t-Branch reduces procedural time to three to four
hours and average hospital stay to approximately three days,” said
Dr. Lee. “It also eliminates the need for an incision that involves
two body cavities. Using this device, typically, only two needle punctures
in the groin and a small incision in the armpit are required.”
The device is a tubular endovascular graft with four branches and a covered
stent that is constructed of woven polyester fabric sewn to self-expanding
stainless steel stents. The branches allow uninterrupted blood flow to
To date, minimally invasive procedures to repair a TAAA utilized “custom
manufactured” stent grafts that were only available in a couple
of large tertiary care centers in the U.S. These procedures required a
six to eight week delay before the aneurysm could be repaired due to the
manufacturing process of the stent graft, placing the patient at unnecessary
risk of rupture in the interval.
The Zenith t-Branch stent graft, an advanced investigational device currently
undergoing an FDA-approved clinical trial, is the first and only medical
device that can be used for endovascular repair of a TAAA that is readily
available and completely “off-the-shelf,” meaning the surgeon
has immediate access and can perform the procedure in a time frame that
is most ideal for the patient.
“Clearly, endovascular repair of TAAA using the t-Branch stent graft
represents one of the most significant technological advances in the minimally
invasive treatment of aortic aneurysms in the last two decades,”
concluded Dr. Lee.
About Boca Raton Regional Hospital – Advancing the boundaries of medicine.
Boca Raton Regional Hospital is an advanced, tertiary medical center (BRRH.com) with 400 beds and more than 800 primary and specialty physicians on staff.
The Hospital is a recognized leader in oncology, cardiovascular disease
and surgery, minimally invasive surgery, orthopedics, women’s health,
emergency medicine and the neurosciences, all of which offer state-of-the-art
diagnostic and imaging capabilities. The Hospital is a designated Comprehensive
Stroke Center by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).
Boca Raton Regional Hospital was recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s
2015–2016 Best Hospitals listing as a top-ranked hospital in the
South Florida metropolitan area for the fourth time in the last five years.
Boca Raton Regional Hospital was also the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished
Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ for 10 years running and
was named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals in 2011, 2012, 2013
and 2014, both by Healthgrades®.
Alexandra Schilling, 561.955.4706