Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Repair (EVAR)
Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is as effective – but much safer than – traditional “open” surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm. This is especially true for older patients or those with existing heart, lung, or kidney dysfunction.
What Is an Aortic Aneurysm?
An aortic aneurysm is a bulge or ballooning in the aorta, the large blood vessel that runs from the chest to groin, carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. An aneurysm can occur anywhere along the length of the aorta, but most commonly affects the section known as the abdominal aorta. An aneurysm in this area is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm, or AAA (“triple A”).
Aortic aneurysms usually develop slowly over many years and often go undetected until it ruptures, at which point it can be life-threatening. Aneurysms that are discovered before they rupture can be treated surgically to prevent this potentially fatal complication.
Why Choose Endovascular AAA Repair?
An endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) is an advanced, minimally invasive procedure to treat aortic aneurysms. It involves placing a stent graft (a tube-like device made of metal and/or fabric) inside the aorta to reinforce the weakened area of the artery and keep blood from flowing into the aneurysm.
What makes EVAR particularly remarkable is that the entire procedure is conducted via a catheter guided into place via existing blood vessels – no large, open surgical incision necessary! Because EVAR is less invasive than traditional open surgery, our patients experience a faster recovery time, minimal to no post-op pain and scarring, and a significantly decreased risk for infections and other complications associated with surgery.
EVAR: What to Expect
EVAR is usually performed under anesthesia. During the procedure, you will lie on your back on an operating table. The interventional radiologist will make small incisions in the upper thigh area and insert a catheter (thin tube) into an artery. Using real-time X-ray guidance, the radiologist will guide the catheter through the arteries to the aorta.
Once in place, an expandable stent graft is released and opened to become a sturdy new lining for the damaged vessel. The interventional radiologist will secure it in place and then remove the catheter. No stitches are typically needed for the puncture site (where the catheter entered an artery at the groin) – a bandage or similar dressing is all that is needed.
You will then be taken to a recovery area where you will be closely monitored for any complications. Follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding any restrictions following the procedure. Most people are fully recovered within 4 weeks after an EVAR, which is especially fast compared to up to 6 months after an open surgical repair.
EVAR is a safe and effective treatment for aortic aneurysms. However, the procedure is not suitable for all aneurysms – ask your doctor whether EVAR is right for your situation.
Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR) in South Florida
If you have an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and want an alternative to traditional invasive surgery to repair it, you’ve come to the right place! The vascular professionals at Florida Endovascular and Interventional have the training and experience to diagnose and treat AAAs using endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR).