You've been living with your aortic aneurysm in your belly, and it's growing. You're worried about a leak or rupture. You'll likely need surgery. That could mean facing a long recovery.
The heart experts at UVA Health can guide you. We'll answer your questions about abdominal aortic aneurysm treatment. We'll watch your aneurysm to see how big it is and how fast it grows. And we'll work together on the best plan of action.
Abdominal aneurysms are often treated with open surgery. But here we can offer you another option.
EVAR Procedure: Faster & Safer Than Open Surgery
Open surgery uses large cuts on your body. Endovascular abdominal aneurysm repair (EVAR) doesn't. It only uses a small cut by your groin to get to your aneurysm. That means you'll have:
- A shorter hospital stay than open surgery (1-2 days)
- A faster recovery
- Smaller scars
- Less chance of complications
Our team is deeply experienced in treating abdominal aortic aneurysms. In fact, Becker’s Hospital Review named UVA Health’s Heart & Vascular Center to its 2023 list of 100 hospitals and health systems with great heart programs.
See other awards and recognition for our heart care.
What to Expect During EVAR
EVAR uses a special tube called an aortic stent-graft. It's made of fabric and metal. The stent-graft is put inside your aorta where the aneurysm is growing. It supports the wall of your aorta. There's less pressure on the aneurysm. It keep your aneurysm from getting bigger, leaking, or tearing.
To put it in place, we only use a small cut by your groin. Through there, we put a small, flexible tube (catheter) into a blood vessel (endovascular). We send the stent-graft through the tube (it's a minimally invasive procedure).
The EVAR Procedure
- Gives you medicine so you can fall sleep
- Makes a small cut (incision) into an artery in your groin
- Puts the catheter into your artery
- Moves the catheter through your artery to the aortic aneurysm
- Sends the stent-graft to the aneurysm through the catheter
- Puts the stent-graft in place
- Takes out the catheter and closes the incision
After an EVAR procedure
Most people only stay in the hospital for 1-2 nights. This helps us make sure you're not in pain and there are no problems.
Once you're at home, you'll need to take it easy for a while. We may ask you to limit some of your activities. You’ll also get medicine to prevent blood clots.
We'll watch your aneurysm over the next few weeks to see how the stent-graft is doing. Over time, your aneurysm should get smaller.
You should call your doctor right away if you have:
- Bleeding from the incision that doesn’t stop
- Pain in your leg from the incision
- Redness or other color changes in your leg
- Pain in your chest or stomach
Is EVAR Right for You?
How we treat your abdominal aortic aneurysm depends on size and where it is. Not all aneurysms can be treated this way.
If EVAR isn’t right for you, you may still have open surgery. We'll work with you on the best treatment for your situation.