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TV Survivor thanks stent graft solution

Medtronic : 07 June, 2007  (New Product)
Rudy Boesch, a reality TV personality in the USA has benfited from a minimally-invasive procedure to implant a Medtronic AneuRx abdominal aortic stent graft.
Seven years ago, Rudy Boesch was the oldest participant in the popular reality television series Survivor, competing with people less than half his age for nearly six grueling weeks on the island of Borneo.

Today, at age 79, Rudy is a survivor in another way; having a serious medical condition called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).

This life-threatening condition is a weakness in the wall of the aorta and exists in an estimated two million Americans.

AAA rupture usually occurs without any prior symptoms.

Fortunately, Rudy found out about his condition before it was too late.

'I went to a chiropractor because of a back injury from lifting weights and they took an x-ray', said Boesch.

'The doctor spotted something and thought it might be an aneurysm'.
'I went to a specialist and I was able to get the proper treatment in time'.

'I was lucky'.

'It saved my life'.

The former Navy Seal underwent a minimally-invasive procedure to Implant a Medtronic AneuRx abdominal aortic Stent graft.

He began exercising again in six weeks and has made a complete recovery.

In fact, later this month he'll compete in the 2007 Summer National Senior Olympic Games in Louisville, Kentucky.

Rudy and his wife, Marge, will both compete in the racquetball competition.

'My Stent Graft is protecting me against a rupture of my aneurysm and it is also allowing me to lead a normal, active life', he said.

'As a Navy Seal, I was active my entire life'.

'I'm happy that I can still do many of the things I like to do, such as play racquetball and exercise every day'.

Medtronic, the worldwide leader in endovascular therapies with more than 100,000 endograft implants and nearly 12 years of clinical experience dating back to 1996, was instrumental in helping get legislation passed that allows new Medicare beneficiaries to receive aneurysm screenings using simple and painless Ultrasound technology.

It is now part of the Medicare Welcome to Medicare physical.

The legislation became effective in January 2007.

'For patients at high risk, screening is the most effective way to detect the presence of an aneurysm', said Rudy's physician, Dr Richard DeMasi, a vascular surgeon at Sentara Heart Hospital in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

'Males over the age of 65, individuals who have smoked, who have a history of hypertension, and certainly anyone with a family history of AAA should strongly consider getting a screening'.

'The test is simple, quick and painless, and it can save thousands of lives each year'.

Rudy's experience highlights the importance of screening for this disease that has no symptoms.

If undetected, a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm has an 80 percent mortality rate, and Rudy was fortunate that his aneurysm was detected through testing for his back pain.

Rudy's results may not be predictive of results in all patients.
Actual outcomes in other patients may vary.

The new Medicare legislation included provisions of the SAAAVE Act (Screening Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Very Efficiently), enabling screening for men who have smoked at any time in their lives, and for both men and women with a family history of AAA.

This benefit is available only to people who are new to the Medicare system and must be completed within six months.

The SAAAVE Act was endorsed by the National Aneurysm Alliance (NAA), a group of medical professional organizations, patients and medical technology manufacturers.
Medtronic is a charter member of the NAA and has provided more than 31,000 AAA screenings since 2004.

During that time, approximately 600 potentially life-threatening AAA conditions were detected in patients, enabling them to take appropriate preventive action.
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