Endovascular aortic repair: a simple explanation of its indication and common complications

The aorta is a major arterial channel carrying blood from the heart to the rest of the body. But some medical problems, such as high blood pressure along with wear and tear which occurs with aging, can result in a weak aortic wall that bulges outward. This bulge is known as an aneurysm, and can develop into a potentially serious health problem if the aneurysm ruptures and there is heavy bleeding. A successful procedure which can help prevent this complication is known as endovascular aortic repair (EVAR). The word endovascular refers to the area inside of a blood vessel such as the aorta. EVAR is a newer form of treatment for aortic aneurysms, and involves using a synthetic fabric tube (graft) supported by a metal scaffold (stent). The endovascular stent is placed using a long, thin plastic tube called a delivery catheter, and will help reinforce the aorta and prevent the aneurysm from rupturing. However, EVAR is not without complications. Complications associated with EVAR include: Blockage of blood flow through the stent graft (SG), blood leakages around the SG, displacement and movement of the SG, breakage/fracture of the SG, infection of the SG, and small risk of rupture of the aneurysm or aorta during or after the EVAR procedure. To monitor these possible complications, patients have periodic visits scheduled with their doctor after surgery. In case of a life-threatening complication such as an aneurysm rupture this may require immediate emergency surgery.

 

Publication

Detecting Aortic Graft Complications: A Spectrum of Computed Tomography Findings.
Nicola R, Shaqdan KW, Aran S, Singh AK, Abujudeh HH
Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 2015 Jul 29

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