Since its introduction in 1991, endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) (a procedure in which a stent, or tubelike structure, is inserted into the aorta, the artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body, through an incision in the groin) of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) has become widely used to repair AAA.
Because the procedure is much less invasive (the incision is much smaller and less penetrating) than traditional open repair, endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) has been shown to have more short-term benefits, such as decreased length of hospitalization, reduced intensive care unit (ICU) stays, less blood loss, fewer major complications, and faster recovery. However, the long-term durability and effectiveness of EVAR has not been definitively proved by clinical studies.
In 2003, 40 percent of all elective AAA repairs were endovascular, according to an article in Vascular Disease Management (December 2005; 2(6): 165-167). However, due to differences in anatomy, fewer women are candidates for EVAR.
Recent studies indicate that the one-year survival rate after EVAR is not as high as that for the traditional open repair method of AAA surgery (The New England Journal of Medicine, June 2005; 352(23): 2398-2405). EVAR remains a viable surgical option for AAA repair and has fewer short-term risks, such as excessive blood loss and the need for transfusion, than open AAA repair.
To determine if EVAR is an option for you, check with your physician.