Expanding the application of endovascular aortic repair around the world, Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT), announces the launch of the EndurantTM Abdominal Stent Graft System in Canada.
The Endurant System expands the applicability of endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) to more patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), which are present in an estimated 120,000 people and responsible for 1,500 deaths annually in Canada - ruptured AAAs are in fact the 13th leading cause of death overall, and the 10th leading cause of death in men over age 55 years.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a pathological dilatation and weakening of a segment of the aorta that occurs in 4.1 % to 14.2 % of men, and 0.4 % to 6.2 % of women. The primary risk with AAA is rupture, a complication associated with a mortality rate of 80 % to 90 %. The risk of rupture increases from 1% per year for aneurysms less than 4 cm in diameter to 25 % per year when the diameter reaches 6 cm.
Building on more than a decade of industry-leading experience, the new device seeks to address those AAA patients whose aortas are highly angulated or whose aneurysms have short necks. Patients with these complex anatomies would previously have had no choice but watchful waiting or open surgical repair, in which the abdomen is opened and major organs temporarily moved in order to access the aorta.
Dr Kirk Lawlor, Vascular Surgeon at the London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ontario was the first Surgeon to implant the novel graft in Canada:
"Our experience with the Endurant graft has been extremely positive. There are numerous grafts available for endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair but compared to its competitors the Endurant is extremely versatile and flexible in its applicability. This allows us to treat a much broader spectrum of patients with AAA with lower morbidity and mortality in high risk patients who may otherwise have to be treated with open repair."
In contrast to open surgery, EVAR involves a keyhole procedure in which a stent graft – a tube of woven polyester reinforced with a wire skeleton – is compressed on a delivery catheter, allowing it to be threaded through the femoral artery and expanded at the site of the aneurysm. Once in place, the stent graft creates a new path for blood flow, reducing pressure on the aneurysm and the risk of rupture. Left untreated, aortic aneurysms can burst, causing extensive internal bleeding that sometimes leads to death.