PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new treatment for a silent killer that’s usually found accidentally. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on a newly FDA approved device.

Paul Bilella has a history of heart problems, that run in his family. During a routine screening, doctors found an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

“People should be aware especially since there are no symptoms. There’s no lumps. There’s no pain. Ya know and God for bid it would burst, it’s too late,” said Paul.

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That risk came from a weakness in the lower part of his aorta, a major blood vessel that supplies blood to the body. It was bulging.

The Endurant AAA Stent Graft System is the newest FDA approved way to treat the condition.

Dr. Gerald Patton is using the new technology at Bryn Mawr Hospital.

“The graft will control the blood flow. The graft takes the pressure of the aneurysm. And if there’s no pressure on the aneurysm it’s not going to rupture,” said Dr. Patton.

The flexible stent is threaded up through the groin to the aorta in the patients abdomen. Then it’s expanded, so blood doesn’t flow against the weakened wall.

“It’s more flexible. It allows more fixation. It allows better seating of the graft both above and below because they make them different sizes and different shapes,” said Dr. Patton.

That allows more patients to receive this minimally invasive treatment than ever before, and avoid major surgery.

It helped Paul, who’s 68-years-old, get his life back, and now doesn’t worry about the silent killer.

“I think it’s great,” said Paul.

Doctors say a persons risk for the condition increases with age, and it’s more common in men.


Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Information
Endurant Stent Information

Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3

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