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Cardiovascular Institute

Research

Here in the Division of Vascular Surgery of the West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS), we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of modern medicine. Part of this means clinical excellence in performing treatments that are already well accepted. We closely monitor outcomes of vascular surgical procedures, and we consistently have results that rank at or better than national benchmarks. Another aspect of being at the forefront of vascular surgery is involvement in clinical research studies, whereby we investigate treatments that are not yet widely available. We can offer these investigational options to consenting patients long before the treatments become available at other hospitals. Some examples of active research projects include:

  • Use of a graft for Endovascular aortic aneurysm repair which allows for treatment of patients with a very short abdominal aneurysm “neck”. This new graft offers the possibility of a minimally invasive option for patients who would otherwise need a major open abdominal operation.
  • Using a new branched iliac device. This device allows us to avoid closing off a major branch vessel for patients who undergo endovascular therapy for iliac aneurysms. Closing off this branch can lead to long-term problems with reduced circulation to the buttock muscles.
  • Treating patients with investigational medicines made from the patient’s own bone marrow cells, to improve blood flow to the legs when surgical options are no longer available. It is possible that such therapy may lead to decreased need for major amputation procedures.
  • Treatment of serious infections with a new antibiotic, which need only be administered once, thereby avoiding a long course of therapy that is needed for traditional antibiotics
  • Trialing a new drug for “clot busting”, potentially leading to improved outcomes for patients with occluded arteries and grafts
  • Registry studies, whereby we closely track the outcomes of procedures that are already FDA-approved. These studies, which are overseen by the FDA, are used as the basis for improving upon the results of existing, approved treatments
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