Without proper treatment, aortic aneurysms can lead to serious medical problems and significantly increase the risk of mortality. As a top cardiovascular surgery practice in Oxnard, Ventura County, CA, Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgeons of Ventura County offers patients the most effective treatment options for aortic aneurysms for optimal outcomes and better health. Endovasuclar surgery uses minimally-invasive techniques to treat many cardiovascular issues without the need for large incisions. Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgeons of Ventura County is a leading provider of endovasuclar surgery for patients in and around Oxnard, Ventura County, CA, providing state-of-the-art care for optimal outcomes and improved cardiovascular health.
An aortic aneurysm is a weakened and often bulging area of the aorta, a major artery located in the chest and abdomen. Aortic aneurysms can develop in the chest (thoracic aortic aneurysms) or belly (abdominal aortic aneurysms). Without proper treatment, aneurysms may grow and eventually burst or split apart (dissect), resulting in serious issues like shock or even death.
Some mild aneurysms cause no symptoms at all; often, these aneurysms are only diagnosed when they’re seen on X-rays or other diagnostic scans performed for other causes. More severe aneurysms may cause pain in the belly or back or pulsing sensations in the belly, especially near the bellybutton.
Because many aortic aneurysms cause few or no noticeable symptoms, routine screenings are often the best way to diagnose them. Screening is performed using noninvasive imaging techniques and is often recommended for people with risk factors for aneurysms, including those with a history of aneurysms, smokers and people with atherosclerosis (“hardening” of the arteries).
Some mild aneurysms can be treated with a “watchful waiting” approach, with regular monitoring to ensure the aneurysm doesn’t grow larger or begin to cause symptoms. Larger or symptomatic aneurysms typically require surgery repair to strengthen the weakened area, usually using a synthetic graft. During the procedure, an incision is made in the abdomen, and the damaged portion of the vessel is opened and cleaned of debris. Then the graft is sewn in place. Surgery may also be performed using an endovasuclar approach. In this type of surgery, incisions are made in the groin, and a long flexible tube called a catheter is inserted. The graft procedure is performed using special instruments designed to be used in endovasuclar procedures without any large external incisions. Hospitalization and recovery times are shorter with endovasuclar repair techniques.
Endovasuclar surgery is a minimally-invasive approach that avoids the need for large incisions in the abdomen or chest. Instead, special surgical instruments are inserted through small incisions made directly into the blood vessels. By eliminating the need for large incisions, endovasuclar surgery decreases the risks of surgical complications and is associated with shorter hospital stays, lower hospital costs, and faster recovery.
Endovasuclar surgery can be used to treat different problems, including atherosclerosis, peripheral vascular occlusions, chronic venous diseases, vessel trauma or defects, atrial fibrillation, and aneurysms.
Depending on the type of surgery being performed, endovasuclar surgery may be performed using a local anesthetic and sedation or general anesthesia. The incisions sites are carefully cleaned and shaven, and small incisions are made directly into the vessel. Then, a guided wire is inserted into the vessel and gradually advanced to the treatment site using a special imaging machine to ensure it reaches the proper destination. Next, a catheter is inserted over the guide wire. The catheter is used to insert and control instruments as well as to apply grafts to damaged portions of the vessel, including aneurysms and arteries that have become blocked by a build-up of plaque. Once the procedure is complete, the instruments and catheter are removed, and the incisions are closed and covered with a bandage.
Endovasuclar surgery typically is associated with less discomfort during recovery and shorter recovery times compared with traditional surgeries using large incisions. Patients will be required to spend a day or two in the hospital for observation during the initial stages of recovery, and activity will be limited while the incision site heals. To avoid placing pressure on the incision site, patients will not be able to drive for several days following their procedure. Baths will also need to be avoided during this time to prevent infection. Most patients can resume normal activity about a month to six weeks after their procedure.
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