• Lauren Roth

Fenestrated Grafts with William Shutze, MD

Updated: Sep 11, 2019

In today's episode, I interviewed William Shutze, MD, on a new technology, fenestrated grafts. Dr. Shutze is a vascular surgeon, advanced endovascular specialist, and part of Texas Team Aorta. Check out an excerpt below, and then listen to the full episode on our podcast!


What is a fenestrated graft? What does that mean?


So when we talk about fenestrated grafts, a fenestration refers to a defect, like a hole or something that's shaped like a scallop in the fabric of the stent graft that allows for branch vessel perfusion. Most of the stent grafts do not have this technology or capability and they are simple sleeve type designs, which if you put those into a blood vessel with a branch, then you're going to cover that branch and occlude it.


What type of patients are referred to you for this technology?


Well, I think the typical patient that is referred to me is a patient that has actually already seen another surgeon who treats aortic problems or aneurysms but doesn't have the skill set or resources to do the fenestrated grafting. And so they will be referring to me to be evaluated for the possibility and feasibility of doing a fenestrated graft to treat their aneurysm. Most of the time these folks have an aneurysm that is fairly generous in size and definitely need to be treated to prolong survival. Most of the time if the patients have this type of anatomy that would require a fenestrated graft, they have other complex issues with their arteries. This can make the surgeries challenging, such as small arteries. The iliac arteries are the ones that we are going to deliver the grafts where the arteries may be occluded and we have to have other types of approaches to get the secondary stents in.


What one thing do you want our listeners to take away?


Most patients with aortic pathologies are treatable with stents now compared to years past. And, the number that we can treat keeps increasing as new technologies come online.

For instance, here at The Heart Hospital, we are participating in three innovative trials, testing out new branch technology, and branch technology is a little bit different than fenestrated, right, and this is where branches will actually be coming off of the graft into the side branches that would've otherwise be covered, and maintain flow. And that avoids having to have other operations done to reroute the blood flow. We've got three different devices --

one is already online and we've implanted over 20 of those, which works great. We've got two more coming online soon that we'll be using.


For the full interview, check out our podcast at http://mdspotlight.buzzsprout.com/

For an appointment or more information, please call 469.814.3480 or email us at TexasTeamAorta@gmail.com.

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