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New Dual Surgical Suite at HMFW Minimizes Complications for Treating Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
08/01/2008

FORT WORTH, Texas — Because they are so difficult to detect, abdominal aortic aneurysms are one of our nation’s silent killers. Bubbles in the wall of the aorta can weaken and rupture, killing more than 15,000 Americans each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital (HMFW) recently opened a new surgical suite that allows physicians to treat the aneurysm through a minimally invasive vascular intervention or traditional surgery.

“Treating an abdominal aortic aneurysm can be high-risk surgery,” said Debbie Bricker, R.N., director of cardiac and vascular services at HMFW. “The dual surgical suite is designed to reduce the patient’s risk of complications during surgery by giving the surgeon the ability to convert from minimally invasive procedure to traditional surgery in a matter of seconds.”

Prior to the addition of the new dual suite, patients would undergo these hybrid procedures in a cath lab. If the patient needed traditional abdominal surgery, physicians would rush them to a separate operating room.

The dual surgical suite is also equipped with the new Allura Xper FD20 digital X-ray technology, enabling physicians to see arteries and the vascular system through high-definition images.

“One of the key features of this suite is the imaging technology which provides excellent contrast and magnification of small areas,” said Jeffrey Lin, M.D., chief of surgical quality review at HMFW. “The highly magnified images yield better precision and accuracy during the procedure.”

In addition to treating abdominal aortic aneurysms, the new surgical suite is also used in treating strokes and leg ischemia — a condition where the legs do not receive proper blood supply.

Prevention and Early Detection
The vascular system carries blood to vital organs throughout the body. If left undetected, a weakness of the blood vessel wall or blockage within this system can lead to a debilitating stroke, deadly aneurysm rupture, limb amputation or other serious disability.

Patients who have high blood pressure, smoke or have a family history of vascular disease, like an abdominal aortic aneurysm, are at greater risk for weak blood vessel walls or vascular blockages.

HMFW offers vascular screenings in the hospital and in its mobile health unit. Three simple, non-invasive tests can reveal in 20 minutes if an individual has a vascular problem that might lead to serious complications or death.

If the screening detects a life-threatening blockage or weak blood vessel, the patient will be evaluated for further treatment and surgery.

For more information on the new surgical suite or to make an appointment for a vascular screening, call 817-250-3400.

About Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital
Opened in 1930, Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital is a Magnet-designated hospital, and Tarrant County’s largest and busiest hospital and regional referral center. A member of Texas Health Resources, HMFW is licensed for 724 beds and provides the following services: cardiovascular; high risk and routine obstetrics and gynecology; neurosciences; orthopedics and sports medicine; rehabilitation; adult critical care and neonatal intensive care; trauma and emergency medicine; cancer care; medical/surgical; kidney transplants; occupational health; and more. The campus is home to almost 1,000 members of the medical staff, more than 4,000 employees, 200 volunteers and the 100-bed Harris Methodist Heart Center. For more information, please call 1-888-4-HARRIS, or visit www.texashealth.org/hmfw.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR’s system of 13 hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System, and a medical research organization. THR is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.texashealth.org.

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