The interventional radiology team at CHFT is celebrating the successful performing of both the first acute and elective percutaneous EVAR (endovascular aneurysm repair) procedures.
They were performed by Dr Chalam Viswanathan our Consultant Interventional Radiologist and this is a major development in minimally invasive Interventional Radiology within the Trust. It will be of major benefit to our patients in West Yorkshire, as we are now only the second site in the region to currently provide this service. Leeds is the other.
Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are usually treated by EVARs. This requires the groin to be open by our vascular surgeons and the Interventional Radiologist, who has done all the pre-planned measurements, introduces, and places the stents accurately under X-ray guidance.
Percutaneous EVARs differ from the standard procedure as they are performed without the need for any surgery. Minimal access into the artery is achieved and after completion of the procedure a special percutaneous technique is performed to close the small hole in the artery. This means the patient no longer has a surgical scar and recovery is rapid with significantly reduced risk of complications. Ultimately, this means that the patient can potentially be discharged the next day (elective EVARs), thereby improving the overall patient experience whilst also reducing cost.
Dr Viswanathan has now performed six elective and one acute percutaneous EVAR with excellent results.
He said: "Obviously, this has been a major development in radiology with the entire procedure performed by the radiologist. I have spent a lot of time learning this technique and I am so glad that this can be put into practice to benefit our patients. If patients fall into a certain criteria, this minimally invasive technique can be performed”.
One of the patients, Mr Owram, who is from Bradford, attended acutely unwell with a leaking AAA and had an emergency percutaneous EVAR performed. Dr Viswanathan, added: “Doing this technique in an acute situation is challenging. I am so glad all went well and Mr Owram was discharged on the 4th post procedure day without any complications. I would also like to thank Mr Anver Mohammed, consultant vascular surgeon, for all his moral support and his presence so that I could start this new service for the benefit of our patients. Surgical back-up is very important”.
Dr Viswanathan also wanted to thank his interventional radiology staff, saying: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my radiology staff, nurses, radiographers and helpers, in the intervention suite for all their support and hard work, and I am extremely proud to be a part of this team”.
Here three patients - all pictured below - tell their stories:
1 Bryan Owram, 83, from Esholt, near Shipley underwent the stent op as a real emergency.
The retired antiquarian bookseller attended A&E at Bradford Royal Infirmary in agony. A scan there revealed the aneurysm. The emergency vascular service was based at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary that weekend so he underwent surgery on the Sunday morning.
He said: “I was in agony and now I am so grateful. I couldn’t have a general anaesthetic so this procedure was perfect for me. There’s no sing anything has been done and I was able to go home after four days. It has been a total success. The pain went straight away.”
2 Michael Hatfield’s aneurysm was discovered during surgery for cancer. The 79-year-old from Hebden Bridge had his chemotherapy suspended for the stents procedure to go ahead at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. After one night in hospital he was able to return home. He said: “ There’s been no problem at all. I am feeling fine as a result of this procedure.”
3 When Barbara Dyson’s GP got her abdominal scan results back he told her the seriousness of her situation before sending in for stents. She recalls, he told me: “Barbara, you’re a ticking time-bomb!”
A large aneurysm had been discovered after Barbara from Mount Tabor, Halifax, had been suffering with stomach pains. The GP sent her for a scan which revealed large aneurysm. She attended at the Surgical Assessment Unit at HRI before a procedure under epidural lasting eight hours.
She came back to HRI with her husband Geoffrey and son David - see photo - to thank Mr Viswanatharam and his team. She said: “ Everyone here is brilliant. So helpful and fantastic. Technology has come on so much in medicine. It’s amazing.”