One treatment choice for an aortic aneurysm — a bulge in the section of the aorta, the body’s main artery — includes a minimally-invasive surgical procedure known as elective endograft repair.
During this procedure vascular surgeons on the medical staff at Baylor Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital use imaging technology and guidewires to insert a metal tube, or endograft, through the femoral artery to the diseased or damaged section of the aorta. Then the endograft is expanded for a tight fit against the artery wall, allowing blood to flow.
Advantages to this type of endovascular repair may include a two- to three-day hospital stay versus seven or eight days with open techniques, a two-week total recovery time, and fewer complications than open repair surgery.
Like the elective endograft repair procedure, vascular surgeons on the Baylor Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital medical staff may suggest elective open aortic aneurysm repair surgery to expand a blocked aortic artery depending on a patient’s health and related risk factors.
Considered open heart surgery, patients typically take three to six months to recover, compared to patients treated through endograft repair who usually return to activities of daily living within two to six weeks of the procedure.
Baylor Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital became one of only a handful of trial sites in the country performing endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repairs for blocked arteries beginning in 2015 using an innovative new graft, the fenestrated aortic stent graft.
This stent graft allows vascular surgeons on the medical staff to perform minimally invasive aneurysm repair to treat a greater number of patients when an aneurysm is located close to major branch arteries — unlike the previous treatment option for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair requiring a major open operation.
As another option to open-heart surgery aneurysm repair, the surgeon may consider a procedure called endovascular aneurysm repair (also referred to EVAR, TEVAR, or TA-EVAR).
Under local anesthesia, the physician makes a small incision in a patient’s groin to insert a thin, long tube called a catheter guiding a stent graft through the blood vessels to the diseased segment of the aorta. The stent is then positioned in the diseased segment of the aorta to “re-align” it, directing blood flow away from an aneurysm.
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