See the video interview with Dr. Desai and patient Kevin Bottum
Four centimeters may not seem like much. But when it comes to horseshoes, a photo finish or an iliac aneurysm, it’s a different story.
When Kevin Bottum heard about the ticking time bomb in the artery in his pelvis, he knew it had to be taken care of. “The aneurysm was bulging, and if it burst, I could die,” says the Buffalo Grove resident.
According to Northwest Community Healthcare Vascular Surgeon Sapan Desai, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., “About 10 to 20 percent of patients with an iliac aneurysm this size are at risk of having it burst, and close to 90 percent of them will die if that happens. Think of an aneurysm as a balloon that continues to inflate – the pressure grows, and the wall gets weaker until it pops.”
Until recently, the only options for most people with an iliac aneurysm was major surgery with a two-foot incision, followed by a week in the hospital, or another technique that unnecessarily blocked off a vital artery. But, thanks to a new procedure called an iliac branched endograft, Mr. Bottum went home the next day.
By implanting an endograft (fabric-covered tube surrounding a mesh metal cylinder) in the iliac artery, Dr. Desai was able to eliminate blood flow in the aneurysm. “The only evidence that we were there are two small puncture wounds in his groin area,” says Dr. Desai. “The pressure is gone, and for the patient, the risk of rupture has been greatly reduced.”
This new, less invasive technology received FDA approval on February 29, 2016, and NCH is one of the few hospitals in the Chicago area to perform this procedure.
In less than a week, Kevin Bottum was diagnosed, treated and back home, puttering in his garden and putting this behind him. “The procedure itself is phenomenal. There’s no pain, and if you saw the incisions – they’re only about a half-inch. And, I got to go home the next day. That’s unbelievable!”