Another Premier First: New Technology Means Better Outcomes for Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Patients

Dr. George Pliagas of Premier Surgical Associates was the first surgeon in East Tennessee to implant the Talent Thoracic Stent graft recently at Mercy Medical Center St. Mary’s in Knoxville. The Talent graft has enabled more rapid recovery and better post-surgery quality of life for thoracic aneurysm patients. Pictured (l-r): Glen Braithwaite, Kim Hardy, Dr. Pliagas, Linda Hale and Brenda Wear.

Recently I was the first surgeon in East Tennessee to implant the Talent Thoracic Stent graft in a procedure performed at Mercy Medical Center St. Mary’s in Knoxville. The Talent graft has enabled more rapid recovery and better post-surgery quality of life for thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) patients.
This procedure was part of the VITALITY post-approval study of the Medtronic Talent Graft System currently being performed by the Premier Clinical Research Center.
A descending thoracic aneurysm is a bulge in the aorta, which is the large blood vessel that carries blood away from your heart to organs in the rest of your body. An aneurysm is caused by a weakening in the artery wall. If left untreated, this bulge may continue to grow larger and may ultimately rupture (break open) or extend in size to seriously affect other major arteries in the area. In this clinical study the Talent Thoracic Stent Graft is placed inside the aorta to block the weakened part of the artery wall from the circulatory system.
The Talent Captivia device is inserted through the femoral artery and moved up through the patient’s blood vessels. A stent graft can then be expanded within the aorta, increasing blood flow and reducing the chance of rupture.
TAAs are often associated with smoking and hypertension and may result in death due to internal bleedng if left untreated. According to data from Medtronic, about 60,000 people in the U.S. have a TAA, although only half are diagnosed.

John B. Collins, 65, of Bean Station, is one of the first patients in East Tennessee to receive the Talent Thoracic Stent graft to treat a thoracic aneurysm. One month after his aneurysm repair, Mr. Collins is “ready to get back on the tractor.”

John B. Collins, 65, of Bean Station, is one of the first patients in East Tennessee to receive the Talent Thoracic Stent graft. One month after his procedure, Mr. Collins was “ready to get back on the tractor.”
Through our participation in clinical research like this study, we are happy to provide East Tennesseans with the latest technologies that achieve more rapid surgical recovery and better quality of life.

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