Temple specialists employ both traditional and minimally invasive (endovascular) options for treating aortic aneurysm. A weak spot in the wall of the aorta, the body’s largest blood vessel, aortic aneurysm can be life-threatening, potentially leading to further damage or rupture. When the condition is not manageable with lifestyle changes, the weak section of the aortic wall must be supported or replaced. Options include placing a stent (a fabric and wire-mesh tube) inside the aorta to provide support and relieve pressure, or surgical repair using. Before the procedure, patients may undergo imaging tests to determine the size and location of the aneurysm.
Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR)
Endovascular aneurysm repair is a minimally invasive option for treating a smaller aneurysm in the upper part of the aorta; it may offer less pain, small or no incisions, and fewer complications than traditional surgery. Using a catheter—a thin, flexible plastic tube that is threaded through the blood vessels to the aorta—the surgeon places a compressed stent at the site of the aneurysm. The stent then opens to provide a strong, tight-fitting scaffold for the aortic wall.
Surgical aneurysm repair
Depending on the size and location of the aneurysm, open surgery may be the best option. An aneurysm that has ruptured or is close to rupturing will require emergency surgery of this type. To repair the aortic wall, the surgeon may use grafts, synthetic fabric patches or live tissue transplanted from elsewhere in the patient's body; they may also install small clamps to channel blood away from the site of the aneurysm.
Our vascular and cardiovascular surgeons have extensive experience in both EVAR and open surgical techniques for aneurysm repair—experience that is rare in non-specialist centers, and which guides them in recommending the most appropriate treatment. Whenever possible, we conduct minimally invasive procedures to reduce a patient’s potential risk of infection and blood loss. We emphasize comprehensive and supportive care for patients from their first visit to Temple, through surgery to recovery.