"All things considered, I couldn't have had a better experience," Arthur ‘Buz’ Kaido
By a lucky accident, Arthur “Buz” Kaido learned he had abdominal aneurysms.
Recently, during routine physical tests, a chest X-ray indicated a suspicious area in one of his lungs. He underwent a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, and the results appeared normal. Then the pulmonologist scrolled through the image.
“He said, ‘you've got a couple of huge aneurysms there,’” Buz recalled. “He immediately picked up the phone and called my primary care physician. It was very fortuitous that I had come in for another problem.”
Buz had not one but two aneurysms: one aortic, one iliac. He had no symptoms. Left unchecked, abdominal aortic aneurysms can be deadly: those that rupture outside of a hospital setting are fatal 90 percent of the time.
In September, Buz underwent an iliac branch stent-graft procedure with Brian Peterson, M.D., a SLUCare vascular surgeon specializing in treating aneurysms. In November 2013, Dr. Peterson was the first surgeon in the world to perform the procedure, at St. Anthony’s Heart and Vascular Institute. The first patient – and subsequent patients including Buz Kaido – have been enrolled in the Gore Excluder Iliac Branch Clinical Study, which tests the safety and effectiveness of the new stent.
“This new device offers a treatment not previously available for patients who have an aneurysm of their aortic and iliac arteries,” Dr. Peterson said. “Before this device was available, repairs of this type of aneurysm required sacrificing one of the major blood vessels, putting the patient at risk of decreased blood flow to the pelvis. That decreased blood flow most commonly manifests as pain while walking, and difficulty walking. With this new device, patients can be back to their normal daily activities with fewer restrictions more quickly.”
Buz, 70, did his homework.
“I read enough about it to know that it wasn’t really experimental. They’ve been using the Gore stentgraft in Europe for several years,” he said. “Dr. Peterson’s reputation made me feel a lot better about it.
“All things considered, I couldn't have had a better experience,” he added. “Dr. Peterson and his staff were great, and the pre-surgery nurses, the recovery room, every part of the experience.”
After spending a restrictive two-week recuperation period at home, the semi-retired solar energy consultant received a clean bill of health in follow-up visits with Dr. Peterson. Buz is now back to his regular strenuous activities, maintaining his 30-plus-acre Jefferson County home and grounds and related equipment.
“I'm able to do everything I used to do,” he said. “I’m glad I had a doctor who really knew his stuff, about the best in the whole country. I'm also lucky to have been accepted in the study.”