Medical Minute 12-17: Anaconda: Beating a Silent Killer

By: Melissa Medalie Email
By: Melissa Medalie Email

Shooting at a gun range is how Ed Radzinski relieves the stress of the week.

"It's just a good pastime for me, and my son and now I'm training my grandson, he's 9 years old, how to handle a weapon," said Ed Radzinski.

Lately it was his health that caused the biggest worry.

"We watched it for 6 years and now all of a sudden I'm going to be operated on," said Ed Radzinski.

He has an abdominal aortic aneurysm. It happens when the walls of the aorta expand and weaken.

Doctor Robert Winter says in many cases the aneurysms aren't detected until people feel the pain from the ballooning artery. Pain that means it's about ready to burst.

"These are tough to find. The overwhelming majority of them do not cause symptoms," said Robert Winter, M.D., Director of Cardiovascular Institute Florida Hospital.

Doctor Winter is testing a device called the anaconda. The nylon and wire stent snakes its way through tricky anatomy, blood flows through the device which protects the aneurysm wall from rupturing.

"A lot of anatomy is not straight lined it can be very tortuous or curvy," said Robert Winter, M.D.

Doctors managed to spot Ed's aneurysm in time. He enrolled in the study and had the stent put in through a catheter inserted in the groin. Traditional surgery means a six to ten inch incision, a week in the hospital and two to three months recovering. The anaconda, two inches or smaller, you're home in one to two days, and back to normal in just a few weeks. It gave Ed valuable time and peace of mind.

"I'm fine, I'm healthy and I'm going to go back to what I used to do," said Ed Radzinski

Taking aim at a healthy, worry-free future.


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