An abdominal aortic aneurysm has the capability of damaging the aorta, which represents the largest blood vessel in the body. A ruptured aorta can lead to serious health consequences, from considerable internal bleeding to a fatal aneurysm rupture.
To prevent a potentially deadly abdominal aortic aneurysm, Dr. Chadda and the team of cardiovascular professionals at the clinic use the non-invasive procedure called endovascular stent grafting. An endovascular stent graft provides reinforcement for the aorta wall, as well as prevents the aneurysm from bursting. Endovascular refers to the interior of a blood vessel, such as the aorta.
WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE THE PROCEDURE?
Before abdominal aortic aneurysm stenting, our experienced team of cardiovascular experts will run several diagnostic tests to view different angles of the abdominal aortic aneurysm and the surrounding area. The test provides Dr. Chadda with a detailed visual of what to expect once the procedure begins. Dr. Chadda will know the type of stent graft to use for preventing the aneurysm from rupturing. You can also expect us to present you with instructions that clearly describe the measures you must take to prepare for the surgery. Preparations include fasting and phasing out the ingestion of certain medications, especially medicines that thin the blood.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING ENDOVASCULAR STENT GRAFTING?
One of our nurses will shave and clean the area of the groin where we plan to thread the catheter and stent. We apply local anesthesia to numb the groin area and you have the option to receive light sedation or a general anesthetic to put you to sleep during surgery.
Once the local anesthetic takes control of the groin area, Dr. Chadda will create a small incision in one of the thighs. Following the x-rays to determine the precise location of the abdominal aortic aneurysm, Dr. Chadda guides the catheter through the large blood vessel in one of your thighs to reach the aneurysm located in the abdomen. Dr. Chadda then releases the stent graft into the aorta and the stent graft immediately increases in size above and under the aneurysm.
We remove the catheter, which means Dr. Chadda has successfully secured the stent graft inside of the aorta. If the aneurysm is large and/or the shape is not close to symmetrical, Dr. Chadda might decide to place additional stent grafts to ensure the aneurysm is not fed blood.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM STENTING?
After we take you to a recovery room, you can expect our team of cardiovascular specialists to monitor your vital signs closely. We might recommend that you lie on your back for between four and six hours to promote healing in the leg where we made the incision for the catheter. Most patients are discharged the next day.
ENDOVASCULAR SURGERY VERSUS OPEN SURGERY
Endovascular surgery and open surgery accomplish the same goal: prevent an abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture. However, endovascular surgery is much less invasive, as the surgeon places the stent graft inside of the aneurysm, without having to remove tissue from the aorta. On the other hand, open surgery creates more health risks, as the surgeon performs an open chest or an open abdominal procedure.
BENEFITS AND RISKS OF ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM STENTING
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of performing non-invasive cardiovascular procedures. By only cutting a small incision, we dramatically decrease the risk of contracting an infection. The non-invasive procedure also reduces the risk of internal bleeding or serious bruising. In addition, patients are typically discharged the next day.
Complications following endovascular stent grafting include blood leaking around the stent graft, blood flow blockage within the stent graft, and movement of the stent graft where the doctor originally placed it. The stent graft might break and thus, lose its firm hold over the abdominal aorta aneurysm. Infection and rupture of the aorta and/or aneurysm represent the rare worst case scenarios of abdominal aortic aneurysm stenting.
We remind our patients that endovascular stent grafting is not a medical procedure for everyone. The aortic aneurysm might be located too close to an organ or possess an irregular shape and/or size, which makes securing a stent graft a difficult thing to do.
Dr. Chadda and his team will meet with you to determine if you are healthy enough to receive abdominal aortic aneurysm stenting and whether we can access the aortic aneurysm by threading a catheter through the thigh to the abdomen.
Contact us to schedule an initial consultation that determines whether you should consider abdominal aortic aneurysm stenting.