Weakness in artery walls can cause bulges called aneurysms. Aneurysms can occur anywhere, but are most common in the abdominal aorta, which supplies blood to the abdomen, pelvis and legs.
Aneurysms pose two major risks: they can rupture, causing massive bleeding; and blood clots can form inside them and be carried into other areas of the body.
Some aneurysm patients may be candidates for endovascular stent grafting, a minimally invasive procedure to reinforce artery walls.
You will be given general anesthesia. The doctor will insert a catheter into your groin and guide it to the aneurysm using fluoroscopy (a moving X-ray image projected onto a monitor).
The doctor will then insert the stent graft, a narrow mesh tube with a fabric covering, through the catheter, and sew it to the artery wall at the aneurysm site. Blood flows through the stent instead of the bulging portion of the artery.
- Less invasive than the traditional, "open" surgery to place stent grafts
- Shorter hospital stay
- Smaller incisions/scars
- Many patients return to regular activities in a month