Vascular & Endovascular Approaches to Aneurysm Repair
Vascular Surgery for Repair of Aneurysms
Vascular surgery has been used successfully for more than 50 years to repair abdominal aneurysms. An incision is made from the breastbone to just below the navel while you are under general anesthesia. A graft made of Dacron or Teflon is sewn into place on the aorta, and the walls of the aneurysm itself are wrapped around and stitched onto the graft.
The procedure takes three to six hours, and usually requires a hospital stay of five to seven days. The full recovery process is typically around six weeks.
An alternative approach is the retroperitoneal approach. In this case, the incision is through the flank and behind the intestines.The advantages of this type of surgery are that both the post-operative hospital stay and overall recovery times are shorter, and the surgical scar is less obvious.
Aneurysm Repair with Endovascular Therapy
Endovascular therapy provides a state-of-the-art method of treating abdominal aortic aneurysms that is less invasive than open surgery. No surgical incisions are made using the endovascular approach, so patients typically have minimal or no pain along with a shorter recovery time.
An endovascular procedure can be done under general or epidural anesthesia, and the graft is put in place via catheters inserted through small incisions in the groin. The endovascular surgeon uses an X-ray during the surgery to place the graft in the proper position.
Endovascular treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms takes two to five hours, and many patients can return home from the hospital within two days of surgery. Full recovery time is usually one to two weeks.
When performed by an experienced and highly-trained vascular surgeon, endovascular treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms is very safe. While the long-term durability of endovascular grafts is somewhat lower than those placed in the traditional open surgical method, it is an ideal procedure for certain patients.