Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is a minimally invasive procedure to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). It is used more often now than traditional open surgery for aneurysm repair.
The board-certified and fellowship-trained vascular surgeons at Norton Heart & Vascular Institute have years of experience performing the EVAR procedure.
To make the repair, Norton Heart & Vascular Institute vascular surgeons make a small incision in your groin to reach an artery. There, they use X-ray images for guidance to thread tiny instruments through the femoral artery to the site of the aneurysm in the aorta.
There, a stent graft — a long, cylinder-like tube made of a thin metal framework with a coating that helps hold it in place — is inserted and expanded to support the weakened aorta wall and relieve pressure on the aneurysm.
You may be eligible for EVAR if you have an aortic aneurysm that is causing symptoms or has expanded to more than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches). EVAR is not an option for about 20% of people with AAA due to physical characteristics of the aneurysm.
Those who aren’t candidates for EVAR may require traditional open abdominal surgery to repair the AAA. In this procedure, a large incision is made in the abdomen to access the abdominal aorta directly. A tube may be sewn to the aorta, spanning the site of the aneurysm.
The EVAR procedure usually takes one to two hours. Patients usually go home within 48 hours. Most patients can return to normal activities four weeks after the procedure.
The open operation usually takes one to three hours. Patients stay in the hospital for five to seven days. Full recovery can take up to a month or longer.