MAYWOOD, Il. -- Loyola University Health System is launching a series of clinical trials on minimally-invasive treatments for life-threatening aortic aneurysms and other vascular diseases.
Since joining Loyola July 1 as chief of vascular surgery, Dr. Ross Milner has brought five clinical trials to Loyola, and is planning to bring others.
Researchers will test new devices designed for endovascular surgery, which is significantly less invasive than traditional open surgery. In endovascular surgery, the surgeon guides a catheter through blood vessels to reach and treat the diseased area. Patients recover more quickly, with fewer complications and smaller scars.
"This clinical research program will expand our ability to take care of our patients and add to our overall mission," Milner said.
Two trials will test stent devices used to repair aortic aneurysms. An aortic aneurysm is a weakening in the aorta, the major artery that extends from the chest to the abdomen. A ruptured aortic aneurysm can cause sudden, life-threatening bleeding.
The surgeon uses a catheter to place a tube-like stent in the lining of the aorta. Blood flows through the stent, rather than through the aneurysm. Two experimental stents under study are designed to repair aneurysms in difficult locations that existing stents can't accommodate. One stent is designed for aortic aneurysms in the chest and the other is for aortic aneurysms in the abdomen.
Once a stent is in place, a patient undergoes periodic CT scans to ensure the aneurysm bulge does not continue to expand and weaken. But CT scans are expensive, and expose patients to radiation and a contrast dye that can be hazardous to kidney patients. A third clinical trial will test a tiny device that potentially could replace CT scans. The device measures blood pressure inside the aneurysm. If the stent is working as designed, there will be little or no pressure. The device transmits data by emitting radio frequency signals.
A fourth clinical trial will test a new stent used to open blockages in femoral arteries in legs. A fifth trial will test a device, used during placement of carotid artery stents, that's designed to prevent debris released during surgery from escaping to the brain.
Milner is associate professor of surgery at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He was recruited to Loyola from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, where he was associate professor of surgery.
"I was attracted to Loyola by the people in my group and by the opportunity to grow a vascular program that already is outstanding," Milner said.
Milner graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he also completed medical school. He was chief resident in surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He completed fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania and University Medical Center in Utrecht in the Netherlands.
He lives in Chicago with his wife, Dara, and their two children.
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 569-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.