This medical video focuses on the new advancements that allows aneurysms to be shrunk.
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Jennifer Matthews: Each year, 15,000 people in the U.S. Will develop a thoracic aneurysm -- a dangerous condition where part of the aorta in the heart bulges out. Doctor Nikhil Kansal says if it ruptures, you're in trouble. Dr. Nikhil Kansal: Most patients who rupture their thoracic aneurysms won't survive. Jennifer Matthews: Treating aneurysms before they rupture is key. The standard fix is risky surgery, and recovery isn't easy. Good health is essential to be a candidate. Dr. Nikhil Kansal: The real question is, 'what about the patients who aren't in good health, who aren't in great shape'? Jennifer Matthews: Now, he and colleague Kai Ihnken have an answer for them. They use a catheter to deploy a graft in the aorta through a small incision in the groin. Dr. Nikhil Kansal: The graft is going to direct flow from here down to here, and so, there will be no more blood flow into that aneurysm itself. Jennifer Matthews: Without blood, the aneurysm shrinks. Dr. Kai Ihnken: These patients who probably wouldn't have been candidates for an open repair now can be treated with this minimally invasive approach. Jennifer Matthews: Here's an aneurysm before treatment. Here's the same area after. Dr. Kai Ihnken: There is much lower mortally, lower morbidity, less blood transfusions. Jennifer Matthews: Pat Kittredge was eight years old when her mother died of an aneurysm. Last year, doctors showed Pat she had one, too. Pat Kittredge: There on the monitor, it made it very plain. I knew I was looking at the face of death. Jennifer Matthews: She had surgery to remove it and is doing fine. Doctors say the new procedure would have been easier for her and hope future patients will feel the benefit. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.