CardioSpecialists Group, Ltd.
About Your AAA Endovascular Repair
What Is a AAA Endovascular Repair ?
This procedure is used to fix a bulging aorta from an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Unlike open surgeries used to fix aortic aneurysms in the past, AAA endovascular repair only requires a series of tiny incisions through which the tools are fed to the site of the bulge. Hollow tubes called stents are inserted to help prevent a potentially life-threatening rupture of the aorta. The number of stents used will depend upon the size and the extent of the aortic aneurysm.
How Is the Procedure Performed?
A pair of cuts will be made in your upper legs near the groin. From there, the surgeon will insert guide wires into your femoral (leg) arteries which he will feed up to the aorta, from which they branch. The wires will be used to direct the catheter (tube) with the stent attached to it. This will be pushed up past the aneurysm site in your aorta. The stent will be expanded. This will hold your aorta open and prevent pressure from being exerted on the weakened aneurysm site. You might have more than one stent inserted into your arteries. When the stent is in place and expanded, the guide wires and catheter are pulled back out through the incisions in your groin.
There will be less pain since the cuts made for the procedure are smaller than with open surgery. Your doctor will keep you in the hospital for a few days for monitoring, but you should be able to return home shortly thereafter. With your stent in place, the blood flowing through the aorta will travel through the stent, instead of pressing against the weakened walls at the aneurysm. If you have any concerns about AAA endovascular repair, you should discuss them with your doctor. He will be able to assess your particular needs to determine if this procedure is the best treatment option for you.
After the Procedure
After the procedure, you are likely to feel groggy from the sedative. You will be taken to bed for from two to eight hours where you will lie with your legs straight. You may be asked to stay overnight.
The area on the thigh where the catheter was inserted will likely be sore and bruised.
Your doctor will give you post-procedure instructions regarding exercise and heavy lifting, care of the thigh incision point and possible medications.
Is It Safe?
As with any invasive or minimally invasive procedure, there are risks. Your physician will discuss with you the risks attendant to the AAA Endovascular Repair procedure.