Game-Changing Procedure for Patients with Life-threatening Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

November 27, 2012


Dr. Vito Mantese explains new repair option to a patient.

ST. LOUIS - Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a common diagnosis affecting older adults and it is the 13th cause of death in the United States. However, many of those diagnosed with an AAA aren’t candidates for conventional repair or first generation endovascular grafts due to type and location of their aneurysms.

A recently FDA-approved endovascular repair option is dramatically improving patient safety and reducing recovery time for patients with life-threatening abdominal aortic aneurysms. Vito Mantese, MD, of Mercy Clinic Vascular Specialists and Mercy Hospital St. Louis, is one of only a few vascular surgeons in the country using a newly-approved, fenestrated aortic endograft for minimally-invasive endovascular repair.

 “This new graft offers significant advantages in safety and shortened recovery times over conventional abdominal aortic aneurysm repair,” Dr. Mantese said. “Many patients go home the next day – as opposed to spending a week in the hospital. Usually patients are back to daily activities after a week, instead of two months. The recovery is much faster.”

Because of his clinical expertise, Dr. Mantese was one of only a few surgeons in the U.S. chosen to participate in a clinical trial of a Zenith® Fenestrated Aortic Endograft (ZFEN), a new generation of grafts. The 18-month clinical trial resulted in the April 2012 FDA-approval of Cook® Medical’s ZFEN, and addresses the specialized endovascular needs of more complicated AAA patients.

Each ZFEN is custom-made for the patient. Precisely-calibrated fenestrations (holes) in the graft material allow blood flow to the patient’s renal or superior mesenteric arteries carrying blood to the kidneys and intestines, respectively. Mercy Hospital St. Louis is one of the few hospitals in the U.S. authorized to use these specialized endografts, and Dr. Mantese is among the few hand-picked vascular surgeons selected and trained for this procedure.

 “This procedure is a game-changer,” Dr. Mantese said. “It’s a huge improvement over what we could offer in the past. It allows patients to avoid the risks of conventional surgery, shortens their stays in the hospital and dramatically lessens the time it takes to recover.”

The FDA-approved fenestrated aortic endograft is manufactured exclusively by Cook® Medical.

Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, 300 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,700 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In the east Missouri region, Mercy’s services include a 979-bed hospital in St. Louis, 187-bed hospital in Washington, and Mercy Clinic, a 575-member multispecialty physician organization.  For more about Mercy, visit



Media Contacts