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How does an endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) work?

Mark J. Russo, MD
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular)

An endovascular stent graft repair is a treatment for aneurysms of the descending (thoracic and abdominal) aorta. It is similar to the approach used for a cardiac catheterization of the coronary arteries. This procedure requires only small incisions in the groin. Then the surgeon inserts a catheter through the femoral artery in the groin and with the use of x-ray guidance and specially-designed instruments, the aneurysm can be repaired from inside the aorta by inserting a tube, called a stent-graft. This is possible because the tube, or stent graft, is delivered through the catheter in a collapsed state and then expanded at the site of the aneurysm. 
  
Endovascular repair of a descending aortic aneurysm: The tube replaces and reinforces the diseased aortic wall, ensuring continuity of blood flow while preventing further expansion of the aorta, aortic rupture, and/or aortic dissection.  

The potential benefits of the procedure include greatly reduced risk, a shorter hospital stay, and a more rapid recovery. 

In an endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR, also called "stent grafting"), two catheters (tiny tubes) are inserted into an artery in your leg and threaded up through it to the aorta. The catheters are used to place a tube called a stent graft into the aorta at the area of the aneurysm. The stent graft "lines" the aorta like an inner sleeve and stays in place after the procedure. Blood flows through the graft and doesn't press against the aneurysm.

Continue Learning about Aneurysms

Aneurysms

Aneurysms form balloons in weakened arteries of our bodies, potentially causing life-threatening problems such as a stroke. Although aneurysms can form in any weakened artery, they commonly occur in the arteries of the brain and i...

n the aorta, the central artery that extends from your heart through the center of your abdomen and chest. Certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, can weaken the arteries, which deliver oxygenated blood from our heart to the rest of our bodies. The pressure of blood traveling through the arteries can lead to this balloon-like bulge. You can have an aneurysm for years without symptoms or problems. Others can have an aneurysm that pops, which can lead to a stroke if bleeding occurs in the brain. Ruptured aneurysms must be treated quickly, usually within minutes, or it can become deadly: about 50% of all ruptured aneurysms are fatal.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.