Northeast Georgia Medical Center is the First and Only Hospital in Georgia Approved to Use New Technology to Help Vascular Patients

Published: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Patients who need abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair can benefit from a recently certified technology now offered at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC).  NGMC is the first and only hospital in Georgia certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use a new technology for percutaneous endovascular aneurysm repair (PEVAR) of AAA.  PEVAR patients typically have an easier recovery, a lower risk of infection, experience far less pain and take fewer narcotics after going home.

The first and only physician in Georgia FDA-certified to perform PEVAR for AAA repair is Thomas A. Abbruzzese, MD, a vascular surgeon with Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Surgical Associates Vascular Center.

“Traditional endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) patients usually take a week to 10 days to get back to normal activities,” says Dr. Abbruzzese.  “PEVAR patients at NGMC typically walk around the hospital hallways just hours after the procedure.  Their quality of life returns almost immediately.”

An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the aorta, which is the primary blood vessel that transports blood from the heart to the rest of the body.  This kind of aneurysm typically requires repair when the risk of rupture is great, there is a rapid change in its size or the patient is experiencing pain.

Open surgical repair was used to treat these types of aneurysms until a less invasive alternative, EVAR, was developed in the 1990’s.  With EVAR, the femoral arteries are accessed through incisions on the top of each leg instead of an open procedure on the aorta.  NGMC’s FDA-certified PEVAR procedures are even less invasive than EVAR, requiring just a ¾-inch incision on one leg and a smaller incision on the other leg.

To learn more about heart and vascular services at NGMC, visit or call 770-219-3840.