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Endovascular surgery – operating from inside the blood vessel – is performed through tiny holes, rather than through large external incisions. It is an emerging alternative to open operations with very promising results. When done so, procedures can often result in smaller scars, less pain, faster recovery times and lower mortality and morbidity than traditional open methods.
At the Aortic Program, any pathology from aortic valve to the iliac bifurcation, including those discussed in the aortic disease section, can be treated by a minimally invasive endovascular approach:
Cedars-Sinai’s Aortic Program has offered this approach since 2005. Our experts have access to progressive future-generation stent-grafts allowing repair of most complex aortic pathologies using a minimally invasive approach. X-ray and intravascular ultrasound are used to guide the delivery of a graft-covered stent within the aortic pathology, through a small incision in the groin. The recovery period is usually very short.
The best method to repair an aneurysm depends upon several factors, including the location and shape of the aneurysm as well as the physical condition of the patient. You may be eligible for endovascular stent grafting if your aneurysm has not ruptured and is five-centimeters or more in size. However, a carefully performed CT angiogram is usually necessary to confirm that you are eligible for this less-invasive operation.
The physicians at the Aortic Program are recognized internationally for their extensive experience with surgical approaches for treating aneurysms. The goal of aortic aneurysm treatment is to reduce the risk of complications from aneurysms as the major risk for untreated aneurysms is rupture. This threat increases with aneurysm size.
Each patient is evaluated with treatment individualized for the patient's circumstances. The decision to treat an aneurysm with surgery is determined by many factors, including:
- The presence of symptoms, including abdominal, or back pain, or pain in the groin or inner thigh
- The occurrence of rapid aneurysm growth (if the diameter of aneurysm is growing more than 1 centimeter per year)
- The development of an of an aortic dissection, which can be heralded by sudden, severe sharp tearing pain in the chest or back
- The age of the patient and the patient's overall medical condition