Cambridge, Ohio – While undergoing cancer treatment at Southeastern Med, lifelong Byesville resident Jeff Milton was diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm – an enlarged, weakened area in the lower part of the aorta. This condition is referred to as a “silent killer” because there are often no symptoms until it’s too late, and a rupture of this major artery can cause fatal bleeding.

Jeff hadn’t experienced any symptoms, but his aneurysm was large enough to concern his oncologist, Dr. Alkhouri, who referred Jeff to local vascular surgeon Dr. Jackson Flanigan for treatment. Dr. Flanigan is the only local surgeon trained to perform endovascular aneurysm repair, in addition to most minimally invasive vascular procedures for peripheral artery disease (PAD). 

Dr. Flanigan, who’s been with Southeastern Med since 1991, recommended performing an EVAR (endovascular aneurysm repair). This unique procedure requires no incision, so there are drastically fewer side effects than with conventional open surgery and a much shorter recovery period – a bonus for Jeff since he was still undergoing cancer treatment. After a brief recovery, Jeff underwent a second minimally invasive surgery with Dr. Flanigan – an endovascular stent graft placement – to protect the blood flow to his legs.

Vascular services like this aren’t commonly offered by smaller community hospitals, but thanks to Dr. Flanigan and the vascular team at Southeastern Med, Jeff was able to get the specialized treatment he needed without having to travel to a larger city.

“People don't realize the extent of what we do as far as endovascular services at Southeastern Med,” said Dr. Flanigan. “This isn’t a “routine” procedure, because every case is a little different. Our highly skilled team is able to evaluate and treat each patient’s specific vascular needs.”

“At Southeastern Med,” Flanigan added, “the vast majority of vascular interventions can be accomplished with by endovascular, minimally invasive surgical techniques – alleviating the pain, shortening the recovery time and limiting the complications associated with conventional open surgery. Plus, most of these procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, so patients don’t have the added expense of a hospital stay.”

For Jeff, being able to stay close to home where his doctors could collaborate on his care was the biggest blessing.

That’s been the goal of Southeastern Med since it opened its doors in 1952—to provide accessible, affordable, high-quality health care services close to home. Today, the hospital continues to expand services in the areas of vascular health, cancer treatment, orthopedic services and more to help you get back to life.