Endovascular surgery is an innovative, less invasive procedure used to treat problems affecting the blood vessels, such as an aneurysm, which is a swelling or “ballooning” of the blood vessel. The surgery involves making a small incision near each hip to access the blood vessels. An endovascular graft, which is a special fabric tube device framed with stainless steel self-expanding stents, is inserted through the arteries in a catheter, a long, narrow flexible tube, and positioned inside the aorta. Once in place, the graft expands and seals off the aneurysm, preventing blood from flowing into the aneurysm. The graft remains in the aorta permanently.
In the past, this condition was treated by open surgery, involving an incision in the side of the chest or breastbone and a long recovery period. Patients generally stay in the hospital for seven to 10 days following open surgery and undergo a three-month recovery.
An alternative to open surgery, endovascular surgery offers many advantages, including a shorter recovery period, less discomfort, local or regional anesthesia instead of general anesthesia, smaller incisions, less stress on the heart and fewer risks for patients with other medical conditions. This procedure may benefit patients who need surgery but are at a high-risk of complications because of other conditions.