Because the aorta is the body’s main supplier of blood, aortic aneurysms are dangerous. If ruptured, they can cause life-threatening bleeding.
Depending on the location and shape of the aneurysm, the vascular surgeon may consider an endovascular stent graft instead of open aortic aneurysm repair.
Endovascular aneurysm repair is a minimally invasive procedure for treating:
Vascular surgeons at UPMC are among the nation’s most experienced in endovascular aneurysm repairs and will work with you to determine the safest, most efficient treatment.
Recent FDA approval of a new, innovative device, The Zenith Fenestrated Endograft, now allows endovascular repair for many patients who still required open surgery and did not qualify for the standard endovascular procedure. UPMC vascular surgeons were among only five centers nationwide that have been offering this technology since 2005 as part of an FDA sponsored research trial.
What to Expect if You Need Endovascular Aneurysm Repair Surgery
Endovascular means that the treatment is performed “inside the vein” using long, thin tubes called catheters.
During the procedure, the surgeon inserts the catheters through small incisions made in your groin (or sometimes your arms) and guides the fabric and metal tube — called an endovascular stent graft — through your blood vessels to the site of the aneurysm using live x-rays.
Like the graft used in the open surgical procedure, the endovascular stent graft:
- Allows blood to flow through your aorta without putting pressure on the damaged wall of your aneurysm.
- Strengthens the aorta.
- Stops the aneurysm from rupturing. Over time, the aneurysm usually will shrink.
Pros and Cons of Endovascular Aneurysm Repair
Compared to open aortic aneurysm repair, endovascular stent grafting:
- Reduces your hospital stay to two to three days.
- Requires less recovery time.
- Requires more follow-up visits and CT scans to ensure that the graft continues to function properly.
- Is more likely to require periodic maintenance procedures.
Not all people are candidates for the endovascular repair because of:
- The shape or extent of the aneurysm
- The aneurysm's relationship to the renal (kidney) arteries
- Other medical issues
A vascular surgeon can help you decide the best method of treatment for your particular situation.
Contact UPMC's Division of Vascular Surgery
- Patients/Physicians: Call 412-802-3333 to make an appointment or to refer a patient to a vascular surgeon at UPMC.