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Patient Shares Experience After Ground-breaking EVAR Procedure

Patient Stories

HANFORD - A 66-year-old retired Navy chief, who became the first patient at Adventist Medical Center – Hanford to undergo an endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR), is praising the medical team. “The care was excellent,” says Keith, who asked that his last name not be provided to protect his privacy.

The Hanford native learned he had an abdominal aortic aneurysm during a routine check-up with his primary physician, Dr. Kenneth Melashenko. A CT scan detected the aneurysm, which occurs when a part of an artery becomes too large or balloons outward due to weakness in the wall of the artery. It’s a life-threating disease that affects 5-9% of the population over 65 years old. Symptoms usually go unnoticed, but some signs include pain in the back, groin, legs and sides.

Keith was referred to a vascular surgeon, who monitored the size of the aneurysm. When it grew larger, doctors decided to take action. On Feb. 27, 2014, Hanford vascular surgeons Dr. LaMar Mack and Dr. Omar Araim performed the EVAR. Since it uses smaller cuts than those in open surgical repair, endovascular repair may result in less discomfort, a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery. Keith says he was able to return to work five days after being released from the hospital.

Dr. Mack had performed the procedure hundreds of times, but this was his first time in Hanford. He recommends aneurysm screenings for every man over 65 and for long-time smokers. “It’s also very important to know your family history to identify your risks of having an aneurysm,” he says.

Photo: Dr. LaMar Mack, left, with Keith