Endovascular Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

The aorta is the largest artery in the body. The abdominal part of the aorta is located below the diaphragm. It carries blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs. Sometimes, the walls of the aorta weaken and bulge in one area. This is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). When the aneurysm reaches a certain size, it may need to be repaired. Endovascular repair of an AAA (EVAR) is done from the inside of the artery. The doctor inserts a stent graft into the area to strengthen it.

  • Call Your Doctor


    After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge at the incision site
    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • New abdominal pain
    • Back pain
    • Any change of color or sensation in your legs or feet
    • Burning, pain, or problems when urinating
    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Abdominal cramps or
      diarrhea

    • Unusual fatigue or
      depression
    • Disorientation or confusion
    • Numbness or tingling in the legs
    • Cough
    • New, unexplained symptoms


    Call for medical help or go to the emergency room right away if you have:

    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest pain

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition


    The aorta is the largest artery in the body. The abdominal part of the aorta is located below the diaphragm. It carries blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs. Sometimes, the walls of the aorta weaken and bulge in one area. This is called an abdominal
    aortic
    aneurysm

    (AAA). When the aneurysm reaches a certain size, it may need to be repaired. Endovascular repair of an AAA (EVAR) is done from the inside of the artery. The doctor inserts a stent graft into the area to strengthen it.

    Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
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  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure


    This procedure is often done to repair AAA when the aneurysm:

    • Causes physical symptoms (eg, abdominal pain)
    • Causes complications (eg, clots that travel into the legs)
    • Reaches a certain size and position that meets criteria for EVAR
    • Has burst—Surgery must be done right away.

    EVAR is now the preferred method to treat AAA. EVAR can result in less pain, shorter hospital stay, fewer complications, and faster recovery time compared to open surgery. However, closer follow-up over many years is needed.

  • Possible Complications


    Your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
    • Infection
    • Bruising or bleeding
    • Damage to blood vessels or organs (possibly requiring open surgery)
    • Leaking of blood at the graft
    • Heart attack
    • Blood clots

    Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:

    • Smoking
    • Drinking
    • Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity

    Your risk of complications may also be increased if you have had:

    • A recent or active infection
    • Bleeding or clotting disorders