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TTUHSC Physician First in Region to Perform Procedure

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 11:34 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - What do Albert Einstein, Lucille Ball and Leonard Routier have in common?

An abdominal aortic aneurysm killed the Pulitzer prize winning physicist and the loveable sitcom star.

On the other hand, Leonard Routier was lucky that his condition was discovered early and almost by accident. Routier says, “I had a blood clot come loose and it went to my leg.”

In a procedure to take care of that, doctors found a red flag. Routier explains, “They noticed that I had blood clots between my heart and my stomach.”

Aortic aneurysms put patients at risk of developing blood clots in that area. In Routier’s case, his aneurysm was dangerously close to his kidneys. For that reason, Routier became the first in this region to get the Fevar Technique, a minimally invasive procedure which threads a wire through a needle sized hole to reach and repair the bulge before it bursts and with no damage to the kidneys.

And since major surgery is avoided, there is less time in recovery and less risk of complications.

Dr. Wei Li is a vascular surgeon and Texas Tech physician. He was doing this procedure at Albert Einstein College of Medicine but is now the first to bring it here to Lubbock.

He says there is no way to prevent an aneurysm because every white male has a greater than average risk but there are more. He explains, “The most common one is the smoking. And in addition to that, if the patient has a family history of aneurysms, those individual also have a higher risk of developing aneurysms.”

Mr. Routier is back to good health and says he has had no problems since the procedure.

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