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A Life threatening aneurysm brings a patient from Jamaica to Elmira for treatment

Local News

When a patient from Jamaica needed life saving surgery and doctors there couldn’t operate, a recommendation brought him to Elmira. 

The patient was referred to Dr. Nche Zama, who had connections in Jamaica. Dr. Zama then recommended the patient to Dr. Kristian Hochberg who is a skilled vascular surgeon. 

“They had this gentleman who has a very large aneurysm that they don’t have anybody to come fix, so Dr. Zama calls me, we had the films FEDEX’d overnight. I looked at the films and said, it’s a challenging case but we can fix it with what we call a stent.”  Hochberg said.

 

The patient had an aneurysm, or an excessively large artery in his abdomen that could have taken his life if it ruptured. “It grew to about 5.7 centimeters. Well what does that mean? Normal size of the artery is about 1.8 so when it gets greater than 5 centimeters then you have to worry about time to start repairing that, and when you get closer to 6, then the rate of rupture or when they start leaking goes up exponentially.” Hochberg said. 

 

A rupture could equal death. According to Dr. Hochberg, 90 percent of aneurysms that patients have that rupture at home or wherever they happen to be, don’t make it to the hospital. Using a stent instead of an open repair surgery, Dr. Hochberg was able to complete what is normally a 5 hour surgery, in a little over an hour and in a way that was much less invasive.

Without Dr. Zama’s international connections and recommendation, and the expertise of Dr. Hochberg, this patient would have had a much different outcome. 

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