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Manchester Royal Infirmary performs first Chimney Procedure in the UK

The Manchester Royal Infirmary has become the first hospital in the UK to perform a Chimney (or Periscope) Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR). Maureen Peacock, 69, suffered an aortic aneurysm which is when the aorta, the largest artery in the body, balloons or widens. The aneurysm weakens the wall of the artery and can lead to it rupturing which can have fatal consequences. The four hour operation involved a team of three consultants, in addition to many support staff, fitting a ‘chimney’ or ‘periscope’ graft to repair the weakening, instead of the usual stent graft. This had to be used as the area around the aneurysm wasn’t big enough to support the standard stent graft. If they had placed it further up the artery, the blood flow to the patient’s kidneys may have been affected resulting in kidney failure. Without this type of stent, Mrs Peacock would have had to wait for a minimum of two months for a specially made ‘Branch’ graft from Australia as she was not fit for full conventional surgery Professor Michael Walker, who carried out the procedure alongside Mr Serracino-Inglott and Dr Farquharson, says: “This lady would have been an exceptionally high risk for conventional surgery and because of this new technology she has not only had her aneurysm repaired but her kidney function preserved. “Only a few of these chimney grafts have been done world-wide and this was the first in the UK. We have five more patients in whom we are going to carry out these procedures, some with more than one chimney to a maximum of three.” This new and advanced technique enabled her to have the life-saving procedure without a need for a large abdominal incision, therefore reducing the risk of infection and also meaning that a post-operative stay on Intensive care wasn’t needed. Instead, two, much smaller incisions were made in the groin and one in the patient’s armpit. The team at Manchester Royal Infirmary are already preparing for their next operation which will be even more complex. They are hoping that they will be able to offer this new technique to an estimated 15% of patients who would otherwise have to wait.