Endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair is surgery to repair a widened area in your aorta. This is called an aneurysm. The aorta is the large artery that carries blood to your belly, pelvis, and legs.
An aortic aneurysm is when a part of this artery becomes too large or balloons outward. It occurs due to weakness in the wall of the artery.
This procedure is done in an operating room, in the radiology department of the hospital, or in a catheterization lab. You will lie on a padded table. You may receive general anesthesia (you are asleep and pain-free) or epidural or spinal anesthesia. During the procedure, your surgeon will:
EVAR is done because your aneurysm is very large, growing quickly, or is leaking or bleeding.
You may have an AAA that is not causing any symptoms or problems. Your health care provider may have found this problem when you had an ultrasound or CT scan for another reason. There is a risk that this aneurysm may open up (rupture) if you do not have surgery to repair it. However, surgery to repair the aneurysm may also be risky. In such cases, EVAR is an option.
You and your provider must decide whether the risk of having this surgery is smaller than the risk for rupture if you do not have surgery to repair the problem. The provider is more likely to recommend that you have surgery if the aneurysm is:
EVAR has a lower risk of developing complications compared to open surgery. Your provider is more likely to suggest this type of repair if you have other serious medical problems or are older people.
Risks for any surgery are:
Risks for this surgery are:
Your provider will examine you and order tests before you have surgery.
Always tell your provider what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.
If you are a smoker, you should stop. Your provider can help. Here are other things you will need to do before your surgery:
The evening before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
Most people stay in the hospital for a few days after this surgery, depending on the type of procedure they had. Most often, the recovery from this procedure is faster and with less pain than with open surgery. Also, you will most likely be able to go home sooner.
During a hospital stay, you may:
Recovery after endovascular repair is quick in most cases.
You will need to be watched and checked regularly to make sure your repaired aortic aneurysm is not leaking blood.
Reviewed By: Mary C. Mancini, MD, PhD, Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Christus Highland Medical Center, Shreveport, LA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.