An aneurysm is a thickening or bulge in the wall of an artery. If you have been diagnosed with an aneurysm your consultant may recommend an aortic stent graft (also known as endovascular aneurysm repair or EVAR).
What happens during an aortic stent graft?
An aortic stent graft can be performed using a variety of anaesthetics. You may also be given a sedative to help you relax. Be sure and discuss your options with your consultant before your procedure.
A stent is a thin tube of fabric and reinforced by metal mesh. Your consultant will pass a catheter (tiny tube) along the artery to your heart. The insertion point will depend on the location of your aneurysm. Very often it is in your groin area.
Using x-ray guidance and contrast dye they will insert a guide wire along the catheter. A larger catheter (called a sheath) containing the compressed stent will be inserted long the guide wire until it reaches the aneurysm. They will withdraw the sheath leaving the graft in place. The graft will expand against the walls of your artery reinforcing the weak point.
You may need to stay in hospital 2-3 days. You will be encourages to get up and walk around very soon after your procedure. Be sure to let us know if you are in any pain.
Going home after aortic stent graft
You will not be allowed to drive until released to do so by your consultant. Please arrange for someone to drive you home on the day of your discharge.
You should avoid taking a bath until your incision(s) have healed completely. Your consultant may advise you to avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks after your procedure.
You will need to return for regular imaging tests to confirm the stent is in place and working correctly.
Be sure to discuss any return to work with your consultant.
As with any procedure there could be complications:
Specific complications of aortic stent graft may include:
- Leaking of blood around the graft
- Movement of the graft
- Blockage of flow within the graft
- Graft fracture
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