How are aortic aneurysms treated?

The best method to repair an aneurysm depends upon several factors, including the location and shape of the aneurysm as well as the physical condition of the patient.

What is endovascular grafting?

Endovascular grafting is a minimally invasive method to treat an aortic aneurysm. Instead of an open aneurysm repair in which your chest/abdomen are surgically opened, your surgeon may consider a procedure called an endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR). In addition to EVAR, you may also hear your doctor refer to the procedure as a thoracic endovascular aneurysm repair (TEVAR) or fenestrated endovascular aneurysm Repair (FEVAR), depending on the type of repair that is being discussed. Endovascular surgery is performed inside your aorta using thin, long tubes called catheters to place a stent surrounded with a fabric liner to reinforce the weak spots. You may be eligible for endovascular stent grafting if your aneurysm has not ruptured and the aneurysm is 5 centimeters or more in size.

Why is endovascular grafting performed?

The goals of aortic aneurysm treatment are to reduce the risk of complications from aneurysms. The major risk for untreated aneurysms is rupture, and as an aneurysm gets bigger, the risk gets greater. There are several factors to consider when deciding to treat an aneurysm with surgery, including:

  • The presence of symptoms, including abdominal pain, back pain or pain in the groin or inner thigh.
  • The size of the aneurysm, in particular its diameter
  • How fast the aneurysm is growing, in particular, rapid aneurysm growth (diameter grows more than 1 centimeter per year)
  • The development of an of an aortic dissection, which can be accompanied by sudden and severe sharp tearing pain in the chest or back
  • The patient’s overall medical condition

Your doctor will consider your specific condition and needs when choosing the best treatment for you.

Where is the procedure performed and who performs this procedure?

This procedure is performed in the hospital surgical suite by a vascular surgeon.

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