Herriman Man Recovering and Doing Well After Intermountain Healthcare Doctors Perform Life-Saving Procedure Using New Heart Technology – a Utah Medical First

Nilsa (wife) and Antonio (patient) Gomez with Dr. Evan Brownie and Dr. John Doty.

Surgeons at Intermountain Healthcare are the first in the state to perform a new life-saving heart procedure, called a thoracic branch endoprosthesis, that utilizes new technology that allows them to repair an aneurism in the aortic arch of the heart without having to do major open-heart surgery or make direct blood to the brain with an incision in the neck to make the repair, a much less invasive method. 

The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body. It carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body through smaller branched arteries. An aneurysm is a ballooning (thinning and enlarging) of the aorta caused by continuous blood pressure against a weakened area. 

Over time an aneurysm may grow, further weakening the wall of the aorta, or it can burst completely causing rupture, which is bleeding inside the body. An aortic dissection is a disease in the thoracic aorta where a small tear occurs in the inner layer of the aortic wall, allowing blood to flow between the layers of the aortic wall. 

This new procedure allows repairs to be made and the rerouting of other heart vessels – all the while being done in a hybrid operating room via catheters. 

The new device has a side branch that allows the surgical team to maintain blood flow of a target great vessel supplying the brain and/or upper extremities. 

Previously, in order to seal a stent graft in a similar portion of the aorta, surgeons had to first bypass the great vessels via an incision through the chest or neck. That intervention is no longer necessary in select patients, resulting in faster procedure times, shorter hospitalizations, and a quicker recovery for patients.  

“Each patient's aorta is as unique to them as their personal story. We use this device and other surgical techniques to customize a treatment plan specific to the individual, particularly in patients with thoracic or thoracoabdominal aortic pathology,” said Evan Brownie, vascular surgeon at Intermountain Medical Center and co-director of the Intermountain Healthcare Aortic Center. 

“This is one of many advanced procedures that the comprehensive, multidisciplinary aortic center at Intermountain Healthcare offers to our patients,” added Dr. Brownie. 

The patient, Antonio Gomez, 64, of Herriman, is doing well and has returned to work. 

“I feel wonderful,” he said. “I appreciate the great care that I’ve received and am glad to be feeling good once again.” 

“We’re so grateful for the care that Antonio got and to have him have back home. I feel like I have my husband again,” said his wife, Nilsa.

For more information about the Intermountain Healthcare Aortic Center go to, https://intermountainhealthcare.org/services/heart-care/heart-institute/our-medical-services-and-specialties/aortic-disease-center/


Herriman man recovering and doing well after Intermountain Healthcare doctors perform life-saving procedure using new heart technology