Interventional abdominal aortic aneurysm repair is an endovascular procedure used to treat abdominal aortic aneurysm, a condition where blood collects in the aorta near your stomach, causing the aorta to balloon. Aneurysms that get too big may rupture, a potentially fatal situation.
At St. Joseph's Heart & Vascular Institute, we offer the latest minimally invasive tools to help our patients recover faster with less pain and better results.
What to Expect During Interventional AAA Repair
During an endovascular procedure, your doctor inserts a graft inside the aortic wall to help support it. The graft is secured to the aorta above and below the aneurysm. Unlike Open Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair, this procedure only requires two small incisions, not a large one over your stomach.
Here's how it's done:
- Your doctor makes two small incisions near your groin.
- Next, your doctor threads a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) into the artery at the incision.
- A graft is placed inside the catheter and guided toward the damaged part of the aorta. Watching the catheter on a video monitor, your doctor places the catheter in the best position.
- The graft is expanded so blood can flow through it.
- Your doctor attaches the graft inside the artery. It is held in place with stents (metal springs), hooks, or pins.
- Your doctor removes the catheter and closes the incision sites with sutures or staples.
Am I a Candidate for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair Surgery?
If your aneurysm is small, your doctor may recommend a "wait and watch" approach to monitor it. Larger aneurysms will require treatment to repair them so they don't rupture, a potentially life-threatening situation.
The type of repair approach your doctor recommends – open surgery or minimally invasive repair – depends on a number of factors, including:
- Physical health
- Family history
- Size and location of aneurysm
An endovascular, or interventional, procedure may be preferred for older and higher-risk patients. For others, your doctor may recommend open surgery as the best option for you.