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Specialist Vascular & Endovascular Surgeon
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) is a potentially lethal condition that can now be treated in a majority of cases with minimally-invasive ("key-hole") stent-graft technology.
Life-saving haemodialysis (blood filtration) for the treatment of renal failure requires the surgical creation of an arteriovenous (AV) fistula.
An aneurysm is defined as an abnormal dilation of an artery. Any artery can be affected, however the most common artery affected is the Aorta - the major artery from the heart travelling through the body supplying all the body's organs.
An Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (often abbreviated as AAA - pronounced "triple A") refers to an aneurysm occurring in the abdomen just below the renal (kidney) arteries but above the iliac (leg) arteries - see the diagram to the left.
AAA can be a life-threatening condition and needs to be treated when the aneurysm reaches a certain size.
A majority of aneurysms can now be treated by relining the artery and excluding the aneurysm with "stent-graft" technology. This is a minimally-invasive or "key-hole" procedure that allows management of a life-threatening condition without major surgery and the significant risks involved.
Renal failure can be caused by many conditions including diabetes.
When the time comes that a person's kidney function falls to a level that requires dialysis (blood filtration) your Renal Physician will refer you for creation of a fistula.
A fistula - more correctly known as an Arterio-venous Fistula (AV Fistula) - is created by connecting a vein in the arm onto an artery within the arm, which then allows a large volume of blood to flow through the vein close to the skin which can be accessed easily for dialysis. This is a small procedure and can be highly successful in allowing long-term dialysis access.
Dr. Hansen has a wealth of experience in the creation and managment of AV Fistulae having previously worked at the Royal Brisbane Hospital and currently is a member of the dialysis access team at the Princess Alexandra Hospital where he manages complex fistula access.
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