Like many individuals, the very last thing Tim Stottlemyer wished to do was go to the physician after being concerned in a head-on collision.

“I used to be simply so pissed off about wrecking my automobile and busy engaged on changing it, I did not really feel like I had time to go to the physician,” Stottlemyer recalled.

Inside months of the accident, Stottlemyer quickly started experiencing extreme abdomen cramps. After being urged by his household, he went to see his physician and an ultrasound quickly recognized a small belly aortic aneurysm. It is a weak, bulging space within the part of the aorta that runs by the stomach.

“Fortunately, my physician defined it was a small aneurysm and I didn’t want surgical procedure – nevertheless it did must be monitored,” Stottlemyer mentioned. “I felt relieved simply figuring out why I used to be having abdomen ache.”

Stomach aortic aneurysms which were found previous to rupture must be measured, carefully monitored and evaluated for remedy. Small aneurysms, these lower than 5 centimeters in diameter, can typically be left untreated, however they must be checked periodically or development.

Following his appointment, Stottlemyer returned to his busy, on a regular basis life. He nonetheless skilled occasional abdomen cramps – however felt comforted at the very least figuring out the reason for them.

Man leaning against tree with arms crossed
Tim Stottlemyer is one in every of 13 sufferers who’ve obtained life-saving surgical procedures because of the belly aortic aneurysm surveillance program.

“Sadly, I didn’t keep on prime of monitoring my aneurysm,” mentioned Stottlemyer. “Life will get busy, and you retain pondering that you’ll make an appointment quickly to get checked – nevertheless it simply falls by the cracks.”

Then, Stottlemyer obtained a name from a UC Davis Well being nurse navigator who defined she was calling as a result of a brand new belly aortic aneurysm surveillance program recognized him as a affected person needing follow-up surveillance for his aneurysm.

“After I acquired the decision, I figured it was an indication that I ought to get a check-up,” Stottlemyer remembered.

Throughout his follow-up appointment, it was found that Stottlemyer’s aneurysm had grown, and he required surgical procedure to deal with it earlier than it ruptured.

Open aneurysm restore

Stottlemyer was rapidly scheduled for surgical procedure at UC Davis Medical Middle. He underwent an Stomach Aortic Aneurysm Open Restore, the place a big incision is made within the stomach to restore the aneurysm. A cylinder-like tube known as a graft is commonly used through the process. Grafts are made of varied supplies resembling:

  • Dacron (textile polyester artificial graft)
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, non-textile artificial graft)

This graft is sewn to the aorta, connecting the wholesome aorta at every finish of the aneurysm to switch the diseased section. The open restore is taken into account the surgical commonplace for an belly aortic aneurysm.

“We have been lucky to determine Tim’s want for surgical procedure previous to his aneurysm rupturing,” defined Mimmie Kwong, assistant professor of vascular surgical procedure, who carried out his process. “About 50% of sufferers who expertise an aneurysm rupture by no means even make it to the hospital.”

Three days after his surgical procedure, Stottlemyer started strolling across the hospital and shortly was discharged house.

“Efforts like our new surveillance program are saving lives,” added Kwong. “Having the ability to catch sufferers like Tim, who had aneurysms that have been detected and who weren’t receiving follow-up take care of no matter motive, permits us to deal with their aneurysms when they’re smaller and earlier than they’ve ruptured. This makes their procedures a lot much less advanced and minimizes their danger of loss of life.”

Revolutionary surveillance program

In collaboration with AI (synthetic intelligence) software program firm Illuminate, UC Davis Well being started its centralized belly aortic aneurysm surveillance program in June 2022. This system identifies at-risk belly aortic aneurysm (AAA) sufferers who might have been ‘lost-to-follow-up’ as a result of they missed care through the pandemic or different components.

“One among our objectives is to alleviate the burden of aortic surveillance from major care physicians,” defined Meredith Hickerson, lead scientific nurse navigator for the surveillance program. “We offer reminders to suppliers when sufferers are due for imaging. This course of serves as a security web for sufferers and suppliers to make sure well timed lifelong aortic surveillance.”

In its first eight months, this system has recognized over 11,600 sufferers with some point out of AAA who may benefit from monitoring. Over 10,600 sufferers have been reviewed and 950 sufferers who have been misplaced to care are actually below energetic surveillance and administration by nurse navigators.

Of these, 96 sufferers visited UC Davis Well being, which resulted in 151 diagnostic imaging research, one diagnostic angiogram, and 13 life-saving AAA surgical procedures.

“Leveraging the Illuminate software program, our nurse navigators have been in a position to effectively overview sufferers with aortic aneurysms and determine sufferers overdue for comply with up,” added Hickerson. “This program vastly illustrates the top quality of care delivered at UC Davis Well being, as we’ve got invested in expertise and providers that present comply with up and thus been in a position to save lives.”

Grateful and recovered

Stottlemyer celebrated the brand new 12 months by returning to work simply three months after his surgical procedure.

“I’m simply so grateful for the care I obtained and to be the place I’m now,” Stottlemyer mentioned. “Once you get the decision, you do not know what to anticipate – a lot of fear goes by your head while you hear aneurysm. Figuring out I used to be being monitored for follow-up care supplied me a lot consolation and has helped me construct belief with my suppliers.”

Associated tales

Stomach aortic aneurysm surveillance program saving lives


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *