My 73 year old mom was diagnosed in 1998 with an aneurysm in her aorta below the belly button. She decided to do something about it in May 2000 and scheduled an open dissection. It did not work because she had so much scar tissue from a nephrectomy in 1979. The doctor had to abort the surgery and she ended up having a bowel resection instead. The doctor who performed the operation told her at a later office visit that he would not go in again to try to repair the aneurysm because he probably would run into the same problem with scar tissue. I asked him if she was a good candidate for the non invasive stent graft reapir through the iliac arteries and he told us no because of her atheriosclerosis.
My mom (without me knowing it) found a doctor here in Cincinnati that said he could do the iliac artery stent graph. He gave her no reason to doubt that he could do this surgery. He sent her for two angiograms and scheduled and cancelled her surgery twice. I talked to him on the phone but did not meet him in person. I thought the worse thing that could happen is that he would have to abort the surgery and my mom would still have the aneursym.
My mom went into the surgery on Oct 25th 2000 at 7:30 am. The nurse said it would last three hours. We never saw the doctor before hand. I never met him. After eight and a half hours the doctor finally came out to talk to us. We sat there for eight and a half hours with no one saying a thing to us. He told us he had trouble getting the catheter out after placing the stent graft. He said she was a very sick woman.
The next day my mom was on a ventilator and hooked up to many IVs. Another doctor had to tell us that when the doctor who was performing the surgery was pulling out the catheter, it loosened up plaque from the clogged iliac artery and it spread through her body shutting down her organs. She died that night at 7:40. I am glad I got to talk to her before she died.
We feel the doctor should have known that her iliac arteries were too clogged for this surgery. My moms aneurysm was 6.5 cm and maybe she might not have had much longer before it burst but we feel she suffered needlessly.
PLEASE make sure your arteries are open if you plan on having this endovascular stent graft repair done. This was the doctors 33rd attempt with all the other ones being successful and we feel he wanted to add another one to his list and didn't consider my moms atherosclerosis like he should have.
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