Elective endograft repair

One treatment choice for an aortic aneurysm—a bulge in the section of the body’s main artery—that we perform here in our Dallas heart center includes a minimally invasive surgical procedure known as elective endograft repair.

During this procedure, vascular surgeons on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital – Dallas use imaging technology and guide wires to insert a flexible, mesh-lined implant, or endograft, through the femoral artery to the diseased or damaged section of the aorta. The endograft is then expanded for a tight fit against the artery wall, allowing blood to flow.

Advantages to this type of endovascular repair for an aortic aneurysm may include a two- to three-day stay at our Dallas heart hospital, versus seven or eight days with open techniques, a two-week total recovery time and fewer complications than open repair surgery.

Elective open repair

Like the elective endograft repair procedure, vascular surgeons on the Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital – Dallas medical staff may suggest elective open aortic aneurysm repair surgery to expand a blocked aortic artery depending on a patient’s health and related risk factors.

Considered to be open-heart surgery, vascular patients typically take three to six months to recover compared to patients treated through endograft repair, who usually return to daily living activities within two to six weeks of the vascular procedure.

Fenestrated/branched grafts

In 2015, Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital – Dallas became one of only a handful of trial sites in the country to perform endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repairs for blocked arteries using an innovative new graft—the fenestrated aortic stent graft (FEVAR).

This stent graft allows vascular surgeons on the medical staff to perform minimally invasive aneurysm repair to treat more vascular patients when an aneurysm is located close to major branch arteries.

The previous treatment option for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair required a major open-heart operation.

Thoracic endovascular aortic repair

As another option to open-heart surgery aneurysm repair, the surgeon may consider a procedure called endovascular aneurysm repair (also referred to EVAR or TEVAR).

The Dallas heart surgeon makes a small incision in a vascular patient's groin to insert a thin, long tube called a catheter to guide a stent graft through the blood vessels to the diseased segment of the aorta.

The stent is then positioned in the aorta's diseased segment to "re-align" it and direct blood flow away from an aneurysm.