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Featured Physicians

Michael J. Wilderman, M.D.

Chief of Endovascular Surgery, Hackensack University Medical Center

Updated: September 20, 2022

On August 16, 2022, Michael Wilderman, M.D., chief of Endovascular Surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center, became the first in the U.S. to perform a commercial minimally invasive repair of a Type B aortic dissection using the new GORE® TAG® Thoracic Branched Endoprosthesis (TBE) — marking the first time the device was implanted at a non-clinical trial site. 

Dr. Wilderman is one of the most experienced physicians in the country in the treatment of aortic conditions, presenting his research at national and international meetings and training other physicians on the latest treatment approaches.

He offers a full range of treatment options for aortic conditions, with a focus on developing and utilizing innovative minimally invasive techniques to treat patients who are unable to undergo traditional open aortic repair surgery. As a result, Hackensack University Medical Center is a regional destination for comprehensive care of aortic conditions. 

Using a New Treatment Option for a Complex Condition

Cynthia (Cindy) Pecorelli, 62, of Belleville, New Jersey, was the recipient of the TBE.

Cynthia was transferred from her local hospital to Hackensack University Medical Center, where Emergency Department physicians performed a CT scan, bloodwork and an ultrasound to diagnose her with a Type B thoracic aortic dissection.

After stabilizing Cynthia’s condition during her Emergency Department visit, Dr. Wilderman determined that Cynthia did not need emergency treatment. Evidence showed the safest option was to allow Cynthia’s delicate aorta to “rest” for a few weeks to reduce the risk of complications during the aortic dissection repair. 

On August 16, 2022, Dr. Wilderman — in collaboration with Dr. Simonian and vascular and cardiac surgery colleagues — performed Cynthia’s procedure at Hackensack University Medical Center. 

During the procedure, the TBE is inserted through a small incision in the groin. The TBE has a pre-made fenestration – or hole – that allows it to be placed across the arch of the aorta in the chest while still preserving blood flow to the branched artery that supplies the arm, brain and spinal cord.

“The Gore TBE contributes to improved outcomes by reducing operative time, length of stay and patient discomfort,” said Dr. Wilderman. “We can now treat thoracic aortic aneurysms using a single device in a single surgery performed through two small incisions in the groin and one in the wrist — with immediate access to the device, and without the need for open surgery.”

“Cynthia went home the day after surgery and did very well,” said Dr. Wilderman. “With the support of a multidisciplinary team of cardiovascular experts, we were able to perform a ‘first-of-its-kind’ procedure right here in New Jersey, meaning that Cynthia didn’t have to travel far to receive the life-saving care she needed.”