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Body’s own veins better for grafts than synthetic ones

London, Jan 1 (Calcutta Tube) Replacing infected aortic grafts with the body’s own veins has proved more durable and less prone to new infection than current procedures relying on synthetic or cadaver grafts.

The new technique, called the neo-aortoiliac system (NAIS) has been pioneered by G. Patrick Clagett, chief of vascular surgery at University of Texas-Southwestern (UT-S).

‘This operation has gained favour worldwide in the treatment of this devastating condition,’ said Clagett, according to an UT-S release.

‘Since performing the first operation here in the 1990s, we have accumulated data over the years and have found this procedure to be far superior in overall patient outcomes.’

Aortic graft infections are one of the most serious complications in patients undergoing aortic grafting procedures for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and aortic aneurysms.

PAD reduces blood circulation in the pelvis and lower extremities, and aortic aneurysms result in a weakening of the aortic wall that can cause lethal rupture of the aorta, the largest artery in the body.

Patients with PAD and aortic aneurysms often require surgery, and aortic grafting procedures using synthetic grafts are typically the first line of treatment.

For PAD patients, the new procedure restores blood circulation to the legs, and for patients with aneurysm, it replaces the weakened aortic wall and prevents rupture.

Synthetic grafts made of Dacron, a polyester material, are placed in the aorta and femoral arteries in the abdomen and groin, which feed blood to the legs.

But in about one to two percent of these patients, the grafts become infected – a complication that causes amputation and death if left untreated.

Clagett and his team reported on 187 patients at UT-S treated for aortic graft infections who underwent the NAIS procedure from 1990 to 2006, according to an UT-S release.

It is the largest group of such patients ever studied, and the researchers found that the incidence of re-infection was lower and the procedure resulted in superior durability with much lower long-term amputation rates when compared with other operations to treat this condition.

These findings were published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery.

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