This procedure is designed to strengthen a weakened, bulging aorta (a large artery in the abdomen). The physician will place one or more fabric-covered hollow mesh tubes, called stent grafts, into the aorta to support the aorta's walls.
In preparation for the procedure, anesthesia is administered. The surgeon creates two small incisions in the patient's groin. These give the surgeon access to the femoral arteries, which lead up to the abdominal aorta. The surgeon inserts guide wires into the femoral arteries and carefully pushes them up to the aorta.
The surgeon inserts a catheter carrying a stent graft up along one of the guide wires to a position just beyond the aorta's bulge.
The surgeon removes the sheath that surrounds the stent graft. This allows the stent graft to expand. The mesh supports the aorta's wall.
The surgeon may place additional stent grafts to extend the repair into the common iliac arteries. Blood will now flow through the supportive stent grafts. This relieves pressure from the weak aorta walls, which can prevent a dangerous rupture.
When the repairs are complete, the catheters and guide wires are removed. Because the procedure is minimally invasive, the patient may experience less pain and fewer complications than with a traditional open surgery. Most patients can go home from the hospital within a few days.