• By Dana Sparks

In the Loop: Experimental Stent Stems Danger of Major Artery Rupture

February 17, 2016

a close up of surgeon hands with gloves in operating room 16xx9

It was just supposed to be wrist surgery. But when Ron Hall, an 80-year-old retired structural steel worker from Blue Earth, Minnesota, was preparing for his procedure, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, doctors noticed something else. They discovered that the major artery that carries blood through his stomach was "in high danger of rupturing." When given this news, Ron and his wife, Val, considered their options. And then, Val says her "brain clicked on that we were near the Mayo Clinic."

At Mayo's Rochester campus, Ron came under the care of surgeon Gustavo Oderich, M.D., and received a treatment he likely wouldn't have received elsewhere. He became the first person in the country to receive an experimental abdominal aortic stent that would help "shore up" the "bulge in his abdominal aorta." That was possible, the newspaper reports, because Mayo Clinic is one of the "handful of medical facilities across the country" to have approval from the U.S. government to carry out applied research, or "early feasibility studies," on the device.
Read the rest of Ron's story.

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