AORTIC ANEURYSM REPAIR - ENDOVASCULAR
Endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair is surgery to repair a widened area in your aorta. This is called an aneurysm. The aorta is the large artery that carries blood to your belly, pelvis, and legs.
An aortic aneurysm is when a part of this artery becomes too large or balloons outward. It occurs due to weakness in the wall of the artery.
This procedure is done in an operating room, in the radiology department of the hospital, or in a catheterization lab. You will lie on a padded table.
You may receive general anesthesia (you are asleep and pain-free) or epidural or spinal anesthesia.
During the procedure, your surgeon will:
• Make a small surgical cut near the groin, to find the femoral artery.
• Insert a stent (a metal coil) and a man-made (synthetic) graft through the cut into the artery.
• Then use a dye to define the extent of the aneurysm.
• Use x-rays to guide the stent graft up into your aorta, to where the aneurysm is located.
• Next open the stent using a spring-like mechanism and attach it to the walls of the aorta. Your aneurysm will eventually shrink around it.
• Lastly use x-rays and dye again to make sure the stent is in the right place and your aneurysm is not bleeding inside your body.
EVAR is done because your aneurysm is very large, growing quickly, or is leaking or bleeding.
You may have an AAA that is not causing any symptoms or problems. Your health care provider may have found this problem when you had an ultrasound or CT scan for another reason. There is a risk that this aneurysm may open up (rupture) if you do not have surgery to repair it. However, surgery to repair the aneurysm may also be risky. In such cases, EVAR is an option.
You and your provider must decide whether the risk of having this surgery is smaller than the risk for rupture if you do not have surgery to repair the problem.
The provider is more likely to recommend that you have surgery if the aneurysm is:
• Larger (about 2 inches or 5 centimeters)
• Growing more quickly (a little less than 1/4 inch over the last 6 to 12 months)
EVAR has a lower risk of developing complications compared to open surgery.
Your provider is more likely to suggest this type of repair if you have other serious medical problems or are older people.