Doctor Robert Rhee, M.D. of the Maimonides Heart and Vascular Institute performed the procedures and led national clinical trials

Vascular Surgery Team (from left to right): Olga Epshteyn, Hybrid OR Radiology Tech, Melissa Meghpara, MD, Bruce Swearingen, MD, Robert Rhee, MD, Mahmoud Almadani, MD, Denise Batura, RN

Maimonides Medical Center announced today that its Vascular Surgery team was among the first in the nation to have successfully performed procedures using a revolutionary new endovascular prosthesis for treatment of high-risk Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAAs) with severe aortic anatomy. The device received regulatory approval for commercial use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2020.

Dr. Robert Rhee, Chief of Vascular Surgery at Maimonides Medical Center and National Principal Investigator for the national clinical device trials, led the team at Maimonides who successfully treated two patients today who were suffering from life-threatening abdominal aortic aneurysms.

“It is incredibly gratifying to see our research and clinical trials lead directly to making this procedure available to patients who previously had extremely limited treatment options,” said Dr. Robert Rhee of Maimonides. “For years, doctors have been asking for better ways to treat high-risk AAA patients with complex anatomies. Now for the first time we have a breakthrough solution that offers new hope to patients and doctors alike.”

In 2017, Dr. Rhee pioneered the first worldwide procedure of the device at Maimonides Medical Center and now has the distinction of being among the first doctors in the nation to do so again after its FDA approval.

“It’s been a privilege leading my fellow clinicians at 50 health systems across the country in this important research over the last eight years and achieving such outstanding results,” Rhee said.

“We are proud that Maimonides Medical Center continues to play an important role in advancing medicine and developing successful, state-of-the-art solutions for some of the most complex medical and surgical challenges. I applaud Dr. Rhee and his team for their leadership in developing the implementation of this transformative new device,” said Kenneth D. Gibbs, President and CEO of Maimonides Medical Center.

According to the Society for Vascular Surgery (, approximately 200,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) every year. A ruptured AAA is the 15th leading cause of death in the country, and the 10th leading cause of death in men older than 55.

About the Gore® Excluder® Conformable AAA Endoprosthesis with Active Control System
The Gore® Excluder® conformable device debuts the Gore® Active Control System into the abdominal aorta and is comprised of a conformable stent graft, enhanced device positioning, and optional angulation control. This delivery system is the first to feature angulation control, giving physicians the option to angle the device to achieve orthogonal placement to the aortic blood flow lumen to maximize conformability and seal.

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