What Is Endovascular Stent Grafting?

Abdominal aortic aneurysms can weaken the aorta, your body’s largest blood vessel. This can develop into a potentially serious heath problem that can be fatal if the aneurysm bursts, causing massive internal bleeding.

Your aorta runs from your heart and through your abdomen.

Detail - Your aorta runs from your heart and through your abdomen.

Endovascular stent grafting, or endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), is a newer form of treatment for abdominal aortic aneurysm that is less invasive than open surgery.

The word endovascular refers to the area inside of a blood vessel such as the aorta. With endovascular stent graft therapy an endovascular stent graft is placed inside of your aorta to reinforce its wall in order to help keep the damaged area from rupturing.

The stent graft is placed inside of the aortic aneurysm with the help of a long, very thin, soft, plastic tube called a delivery catheter. The delivery catheter contains the compressed stent graft.

Here is how the endovascular stent graft is placed in the aortic aneurysm:

  1. The catheter is inserted into an artery in the leg near the groin.
  2. Using advanced imaging methods, the surgeon guides the delivery catheter carrying the stent graft to the area of the abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  3. Once the delivery catheter is in position, the surgeon releases the graft, fastens it into place and removes the delivery catheter.
  4. The endovascular stent graft stays in place inside the abdominal aorta to help prevent the aneurysm from bursting.

Comparing Endovascular and Open Surgery

Endovascular stent graft repair and open surgical repair are both done to prevent an abdominal aortic aneurysm from rupturing. The key difference is that the endovascular stent graft is placed inside the aneurysm without the need to remove any part of your aorta. It also does not require open-chest or open-abdominal surgery.

Because it is less invasive than open surgery, the recovery time for endovascular stent grafting may be faster. Usually, the patient can return home within 2 to 4 days and return to normal activities in 4 to 6 weeks.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2010

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