Treatment for vascular patients


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Sanford Health doctor is highlighting the technology being used in KELOLAND to help treat patients with vascular issues.

After dealing with some hip pain, Barb Hillestad made an appointment to see her doctor to hopefully get some relief.

Her appointment revealed she had two aneurysms, unrelated to her hip pain.

“I had two brothers that had aneurysms, so I knew it was in the family and I’ve been going to have a test done and I never did. I just put it off and put it off, you know,” Hillestad said.

Her doctor told her she would need to travel to Mayo Clinic to be treated. But before scheduling the appointment, she reached out to Sanford Health Dr. Patrick Kelly for a second opinion.

“We’ve here at Sanford in Sioux Falls here, we developed, we invented a stint graft system that can re-plumb the aorta from inside the aorta,” Kelly said.

He says the stint graft system opens the door for treatment for vascular patients over 70 years old, who may not tolerate other procedures.

“There’s only a handful of sites around the country that have that kind of technology. We have our site, which we actually invented it and there’s, there are several sites around the country that use our technology. We just opened up John Hopkins last week,” Kelly said.

Kelly says it’s important to get this information out to patients with vascular issues, like Hillestad, who may otherwise end up traveling out of state for care.

“I was really glad I could stay here in town. The kids could stay here. So it worked, worked out good for me,” Hillestad said.

Hillestad is doing well now, and encourages others to always get a second opinion.

In addition to highlighting the technology available to treat patients, Kelly says it’s even more important to avoid one of the major causes of needing it: smoking.

“It’s the fuel to the fire and, a large percentage of patients that we take that have aneurysmal disease, this extensive in their seventies, eighties, they’re almost ubiquitously smokers,” Kelly said.

For more information on the vascular care offered at Sanford Health, click here.

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