Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Repair
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Endovascular aortic aneurysm repair surgery is performed by experienced experts in the Cardiovascular Operating Rooms at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Our rooms are equipped with the latest equipment and designed specifically to treat heart and vascular problems. Our highly skilled team has extensive training in caring for heart conditions.
What Causes Aortic Aneurysms?
The aorta is the largest blood vessel in your body. It runs from your heart through the center of your chest and abdomen and carries blood to your stomach, pelvis, and legs. If the artery wall gets weak, a section of the vessel may become enlarged or bulge outward. This is known as an aortic aneurysm.
Aneurysms may be caused by:
- Congenital abnormalities
- Local injury
- Marfan's syndrome (a genetic connective tissue disorder)
Who Should Get Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Repair?
You may be a good candidate for endovascular stent grafting if your aneurysm is five centimeters or larger, growing quickly, and has not ruptured.
Surgery is usually not performed if your aneurysm is small and you have no symptoms. In this case you may have an ultrasound every six months to monitor the growth of your aneurysm.
You may not be a good candidate for endovascular repair if your aneurysm has ruptured. If you have internal bleeding, your surgeon may recommend open abdominal aortic repair. In this procedure, a large cut is made in your abdomen and the damaged section of the vessel is replaced with a graft of artificial material.
What Is Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Repair?
Endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair is a surgery to treat aneurysms in the aortic artery. A stent graft (small, mesh tube surrounded by fabric) is used to seal your artery above and below the aneurysm. Blood is then able to pass through your artery without pushing on the bulge, which helps prevent your aneurysm from rupturing.
This is a less invasive technique than open abdominal aortic repair and typically yields shorter recovery and less risk of complications.
What to Expect
Learn what happens during endovascular aortic aneurysm repair and the recovery time.
You will be asleep for this procedure. Your surgeon makes a small incision near your groin and inserts a catheter (thin, flexible tube) with a stent (mesh tube) and synthetic graft (mesh material) into your artery. Using X-ray images, your surgeon guides the catheter into your aorta.
Once the catheter reaches the aneurysm, your surgeon places the stent and graft to reinforce the weak spot in your artery wall.
You can expect to spend 2-3 days in the hospital. Avoid lifting more than five pounds for 4-6 weeks after surgery. Your doctor will talk to you about how to care for your incisions and when you can resume your normal activities.
Follow-up imaging tests are typically performed one month and six months after your procedure to ensure that the stent is working properly. If no problems are found, you will need yearly imaging tests to check on the stent.