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Shock and Awe: Victor Petersen’s Lifesaving Surprise
When Victor Petersen of Poulsbo learned that he needed a lifesaving aneurysm surgery in 2018, he was beyond shocked. “It was more like ‘shock and awe,’” said Victor.
A fit, active 58-year-old, Victor had worked on construction sites for years, lifting and using heavy tools and machinery. He never felt any symptoms of a vascular problem. But at a routine medical checkup, Victor learned that his abdominal aorta, the major blood vessel that runs through the chest and abdomen, was swollen and strained. He was referred to CHI Franciscan vascular surgeon Greg Roberts, MD, who explained that the blood vessel was in danger of rupturing.
The news meant Victor and his family needed to make important healthcare decisions, quickly. Dr. Roberts helped simplify a stressful time by carefully outlining their options, said Victor. “He explained everything really well, and I feel that he took great care of me. I trust him, and I have no regrets.”
Traditionally, the aorta is repaired through an open-incision abdominal surgery. But a minimally invasive surgery called EVAR (endovascular aneurysm repair) could help save Victor’s life without an abdominal incision. Victor chose to schedule an EVAR procedure, which took place at Tacoma’s St. Joseph Medical Center in January 2019. After a short two-day hospital stay, Victor was back home in Poulsbo, recovering with the help of his family.
Although the process was overwhelming at times, Victor credits Dr. Roberts with preventing a health crisis. “Dr. Roberts saved my life. Without him, I might not be here. He did a great job,” he said. “We’re just a few weeks out from surgery, and I feel like I could pick up a car and run around the block. I feel great.”