Windsor Regional Hospital offering new specialized surgery for vascular patients
Windsor-Essex residents now have more specialized services for vascular patients available at Windsor Regional Hospital.
WRH officials say it helps keep local patients from having to travel to London and Toronto.
In October, 2022, WRH began performing Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR), and a several other advanced hybrid techniques to manage aortic pathologies, from abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA’s) to aorto iliac occlusive disease, to managing peripheral aneurysms and occlusions in the legs. An aortic aneurysm is a potentially life-threatening dilatation of the largest blood vessel in the body.
Previously, this complex problem was treated with a long operation that can be riddled with potentially life-threatening complications, blood loss, multiple nights in the ICU, and up to a week or two in hospital.
With EVAR (endovascular aneurysm repair), the aneurysm is repaired using tiny punctures in the groin to insert special devices called stent grafts. The grafts divert flow away from the aneurysm and eliminates the risk of rupture.
While receiving care locally, EVAR will help improve procedural time, reduce ICU resources, and lower the length of stay in hospital for patients.
“On average, patients length of stay is 24 hours following EVAR for AAA, compared to 10 days following open repair of AAA,” says Dr. Maher Sabalbal, vascular surgeon at WRH. “Not only does this cut back significantly on hospital expenses, but it allows patients to return back to their day-to-day life just a few days after the procedure is completed. When an aneurysm ruptures patients are more likely to survive an EVAR than an open repair.”
Windsor’s endovascular program is not only confined to aortic aneurysms. Sometimes patients are too sick, frail, or elderly to undergo a complex open bypass for blocked arteries. The presence of endovascular options allows a relatively low risk procedure to open up occluded arteries with stents and balloons.
It also allows the vascular team to repair aneurysms in the legs and stomach.
To date, WRH has completed 20 cases, and most patients have gone home a day after the procedure. Some who undergo endovascular repair for blocked arteries have gone home the same day.
“This allows us to maintain our ability to provide adequate, excellent care,” says Dr. Sowmil Mehta, vascular surgeon.
On Jan. 23, WRH proceeded with a complex endovascular repair that is only done in a handful of academic hospitals in the country, an accomplishment to be really proud of.
“WRH and the division of Vascular Surgery is now committed to providing excellent patient-centered care that is comprehensive, evidence-based and follows up-to-date best practice guidelines. By following these essential tenets, Windsor’s vascular surgery division will continue to serve our region with excellence,” says Dr. Mehta.
Ouellette Campus provides specialized services for vascular patients including multidisciplinary care of complex vascular diseases such as: cerebrovascular disease, vascular trauma, lower extremity occlusive disease, aortic aneurysm repair (open and endovascular), venous disease, and supporting the region’s dialysis program.
“A big thank you goes out to our Board of Directors for the purchase of this vital equipment and for investing in innovative care for our patients in Windsor-Essex,” says Dr. Wassim Saad, Chief of Staff, Windsor Regional Hospital. “We’d also like to recognize the many donors who generously contribute funds to our Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation for many equipment purchases and upgrades — without them, none of this would be possible.”
The community is also served through outpatient vascular clinics which provide both pre and post-acute care.
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