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Manchester surgeons first in the UK to use new aneurysm repair device

Vascular surgeons at Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) have carried out the first four operations in the UK to repair abdominal aortic aneurysms using a new stent device, designed to enable a much broader group of patients to benefit from minimally invasive surgery.

Stent imageThe four MRI patients - three men and a woman - had their operations in May and early June and all are recovering well.  The pioneering surgery was carried out by Mr Ferdinand Serracino-Inglott and his team, using the new Ovation abdominal stent graft system made by US company TriVascular Inc.

An aortic aneurysm occurs when the aorta, the largest artery which runs through the body, balloons or widens. The aneurysm weakens the wall of the artery and can lead to it rupturing, with potentially fatal consequences.  A stent is used to allow blood to by-pass the aneurysm. This is known as endovascular aortic repair (EVAR).

EVAR involves making a small cut in the skin of the groin and then guiding a stent up the artery and into position.  For some patients with narrow arteries or other complications, there is a risk of damaging the arteries when using traditional stents which are around 8mm in diameter. The new Ovation stent is the smallest ever developed, at only 4-5mm in diameter, making it much easier and safer to manoeuvre through the artery and into position.  It is then inflated, and contains a polymer which expands to fit the artery walls, creating a very effective seal.  The procedure usually takes less than an hour.

"Our team was delighted to be the first in the UK to trial this new device, and we believe there will be major benefits for patients," said Mr Serracino-Inglott.  "It is a much simpler and less traumatic procedure for the patient, can be done with a spinal epidural rather than general anaesthetic and just involves an overnight stay in hospital.  There are fewer risks of damage to the artery, and only a small nick in the skin is required to insert the stent, so recovery is extremely quick.  All these factors mean that the option of EVAR will be available to many more patients for whom surgery with standard-sized stents may be too risky."

He added: "Manchester is a major UK centre of excellence for vascular surgery, and we treat around 120 patients with aneurysms every year.  Our team is keen to work with companies like TriVascular, and to help achieve major breakthroughs in surgery for this potentially life-threatening condition."

The MRI will be one of three UK centres taking part in a pan-European evaluation of the Ovation device, involving 500 patients.  The study begins later this month, and is led by Professor Matt Thompson at St George's Vascular Institute in London.  Patients will be followed up after one, six and 12 months, then annually for the next four years.  The MRI team is supported by the National Institute for Health Research Manchester Biomedical Research Centre.




Notes to editors:

The NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre was created by the National Institute for Health Research in 2008 to effectively move scientific breakthroughs from the laboratory, through clinical trials and into practice within hospitals to improve patient care. As a partnership between Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Manchester, the Biomedical Research Centre is designated as a specialist centre of excellence in genetics and developmental medicine. www.manchesterbrc.org

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a leading provider of specialist healthcare services in Manchester, treating more than a million patients every year. Its five specialist hospitals (Manchester Royal Infirmary, Saint Mary's Hospital, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and the University Dental Hospital of Manchester) are home to hundreds of world class clinicians and academic staff committed to finding patients the best care and treatments. www.cmft.nhs.uk

The University of Manchester, a member of the Russell Group, is the most popular university in the UK. It has 22 academic schools and hundreds of specialist research groups undertaking pioneering multi-disciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance. According to the results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, The University of Manchester is now one of the country's major research universities, rated third in the UK in terms of 'research power'. The University had an annual income of £788 million in 2009/10. www.manchester.ac.uk

TriVascular, Inc.

TriVascular's initial product offerings are novel endovascular grafts designed to significantly advance and expand EVAR. Building upon partnerships with thought leading clinicians worldwide, TriVascular strives to make products that address unmet clinical needs and expand the pool of patients who are candidates for EVAR. Based in Santa Rosa, California, TriVascular offers highly talented, motivated individuals the opportunity to positively impact global healthcare