A less invasive treatment option
Until recently, patients with aortic aneurysms, pseudo-aneurysms, and injuries to the aorta from trauma, would have needed open surgery for repair, which included a large chest incision and the temporary clamping of the aorta. Now, endovascular grafting technology allows surgeons to repair the aneurysms by delivering a bypass graft through a small incision in the groin, rather than the traditional major open surgery.
The endovascular method allows the tightly wrapped graft to be delivered via a catheter (tube) inserted in a groin artery. In the operating room, using x-rays for proper positioning, the graft is secured in place by inflating a balloon to expand the graft to the size needed to prevent blood flow into the aneurysm. The procedure can take from one to five hours.
For most patients, the hospital stay is only overnight, with a return to work or normal daily activities in about a week. Even patients with multiple medical problems, once thought too sick to undergo traditional aneurysm repair, can have their aneurysm repaired with an endovascular method and often be home within a day or two.
Lots of abdominal and descending aortic aneurysms are repaired using endovascular grafting, even emergent cases. The majority of abdominal aortic cases are repaired endovascularly, although open repairs still occur in patients not fit for endovascular repairs. Patients who are eligible for endovascular grafting, even in emergent aortic interventions, have fewer complications post-procedure.
Patients who have had interventional procedures have a 10-15% of needing secondary interventions. They require need close follow-up with their surgical and medical care teams.
If a patient has a known aortic aneurysm and is in good health, some consideration should be given to elective repair to avoid emergency ruptures or dissections.
To schedule an appointment at the Center for Aortic Disease, please call 410-328-4771.