Richard Meena Receives GVS Robert B. Smith, III, MD, Resident Award

September 2018

Richard A. Meena, MD, PGY-1 integrated vascular surgery resident of the Emory Department of Surgery, has been awarded the Robert B. Smith, III, MD, Resident Award for his research of surveillance recommendations following thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) based on initial indication for repair. View the article here.

Awarded by the Georgia Vascular Foundation at the Georgia Vascular Society's annual scientific sessions, the award recognizes the significant contribution of residents and fellows to their fields of research, and is named in honor of retired Emory vascular surgeon Robert B. Smith, III, MD, the first recipient of the GVF's Lifetime Achievement Award, for his dedication to the teaching and training of residents and fellows in the field of vascular surgery.

The investigation involved the evaluation of mid- and long-term TEVAR outcomes based on initial indication for repair, with the primary tracking component being the rate of compliance with contrast-enhanced CT scans as postoperative surveillance method.

Dr. Meena is the first author of the study, and his Emory Surgery faculty co-authors include Jaime Benarroch-Gampel, MD, Bradley Leshnower, MD, Guillermo Escobar, MD (program director of the vascular surgery residency and vascular surgery fellowship), Yazan Duwayri, MD, William Jordan, MD (chief of the Emory Division of Vascular Surgery), and senior author Ravi Rajani, MD. Dr. Meena was mentored by Dr. Rajani during the discovery phase of his fourth year of Emory medical school training, and was the first trainee to match into the Emory integrated vascular surgery residency in July 2018.

"We accumulated data on 263 patients that underwent TEVAR at Emory University Hospital and Emory Saint Joseph's, Emory Midtown, and Grady Memorial hospitals between July 1, 2011, through April 1, 2016," says Dr. Meena. "Patients were assigned a compliance score of 0 through 4 based upon the number of images received at the recommended time intervals. Whether patients underwent any postoperative imaging within one year of discharge was also recorded."

Dr. Meena and his team found that there were no differences in compliance score based on indication for repair, and the overall aorta-related complication rate was 34.6 percent. However, TEVAR for dissection was associated with increased long-term aorta-specific complications, leading the team to conclude that TEVAR for dissection should be subject to stricter surveillance guidelines than TEVAR for other indications.