Expert Vascular Surgeon Treats Complex Aortic Diseases, Repairs Thoracoabdominal Aortic Aneurysms, at The Jewish Hospital - Mercy Health

(CINCINNATI; August 24, 2015) – Mercy Health – Cincinnati, which provides advanced, quality, compassionate care in your neighborhood, announces that Mercy Health Physician and vascular surgeon Todd Bayer, MD is treating a full range of complex aortic diseases along the entire length of the aorta, including repairing thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms, at The Jewish Hospital.

The aorta is the largest artery in the body and it supplies oxygenated blood to the circulatory system and to every major organ through arterial branches that connect to it. The aorta starts at the top of the heart’s pumping chamber -- the left ventricle -- and descends down the chest (thoracic aorta) to the lower abdomen (abdominal aorta), where it splits to become the iliac arteries.
“Normally, the aorta measures two centimeters in diameter. An aneurysm can greatly enlarge it, presenting a risk of rupture. I will talk with a patient about his or her options, including continued observation, minimally invasive repair and traditional open surgical repairs depending on the size of the aneurysm. Repair is generally recommended for aneurysms over five to six centimeters in diameter,” says Dr. Bayer.
“Anyone with a first degree relative who’s had an aortic aneurysm is at significantly greater risk of developing one themselves and should be screened. However, most people don’t know they have an aortic aneurysm,” notes Dr. Bayer. “They are picked up through palpitation, CT scan, chest x-ray that shows a shadow of the aorta or an abdominal ultrasound.”

Smoking, hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, injury, cardiovascular disease, a previous aortic dissection, congenital abnormalities and aging can lead to an aortic aneurysm, a weakened and bulging area of the thoracic or abdominal aorta. Should the aneurysm rupture, it can disrupt blood supply to the organs and spine with potentially fatal consequences. About 50% of patients whose aneurysms rupture die before ever reaching the hospital.

The location of the aneurysm determines the approach Dr. Bayer will take to repair it. If the aneurysm repair won’t disrupt blood flow to the arteries that feed the organs, Dr. Bayer can repair it using a stent graft. This is a minimally-invasive procedure that involves Dr. Bayer inserting a stent graft into a small incision in the femoral artery and advancing it to the weak spot created by the aortic aneurysm to reinforce the aorta. A stent graft is a tube composed of fabric supported by a metal mesh that is the same diameter as a healthy aorta.

For aortic aneurysms located near branches that supply blood to the bowels and kidney, for example, or other organs, Dr. Bayer needs to perform major surgery to repair the aneurysm.

“These types of repairs are much more complicated,” says Dr. Bayer. “In these cases, I approach the aneurysm through an incision in the patient’s chest or abdomen, clamp the arterial branches that attach to the aorta, sew in a synthetic tube to replace the aneurysm, reattach the arteries and branches and ensure that there is blood flow back to them before closing the incision.”
The procedure lasts four to five hours and the patient’s health going in has a direct bearing on recovery.
“Patients do need to be fit for surgery and post-surgery recovery is dependent on the patient’s health going in. It can take anywhere from six weeks to six months for patients to return to normal but I’ve seen very good outcomes over the years that I’ve performed these procedures,” says Dr. Bayer.
Dr. Bayer repairs aneurysms along the entire aorta, including aortic arch near the heart, thoracic aorta and thoracoabdominal aorta, and also treats other complex aortic diseases. He practices from Mercy Health - Vascular and Endovascular Surgeons, located at 4030 Smith Road Suite 300 in Cincinnati, ZIP 45209. To find out more about Dr. Bayer or to make an appointment, please call 513-421-3494.