Treating aneurysms throughout the body usually requires open surgery, but now we’re able to use a minimally invasive procedure to repair abdominal aortic aneurysms. These are aneurysms that occur in the part of the aorta that carries blood from the heart into the lower extremities.
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In traditional open surgery, surgeons go in and repair the aneurysm, or “bulge,” in an artery. The bulge must be fixed because it can create dangerous pressure on the wall of an artery, causing it to get thinner or even causing it to burst.
With a minimally invasive procedure, as this whiteboard video illustrates, we insert a metal mesh tube — called a stent — covered in a polyester coating through the aorta and into the portion of the artery where the aneurysm is. Then, we allow the stent to expand so that blood can flow through the tube instead of through the aneurysm.
This procedure is very effective in taking the pressure off the weakened walls of the aortic aneurysm and preventing a rupture.