Endovascular Surgery — also known as Interventional Radiology — has been hailed as the surgery of the twenty-first century. Specially trained doctors are able to treat a variety of medical disorders without open surgery by using x-rays and other imaging techniques to guide small tubes (catheters) and devices through the blood vessels, thereby reducing the risk of complications and shortening the recovery period. At the Center for Endovascular Surgery — a division of The Hyman-Newman Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery (INN) — we specialize in using these minimally invasive techniques to treat disorders of the brain, head, neck and spine.
Before the procedure begins, you will have either a sedative and regional anesthesia to make you more comfortable and numb the area of operation, or general anesthesia that will put you to sleep completely. The area of insertion will be cleaned and shaven to prevent infections. Your doctor will make a small incision around the hip, near the crease between the hip and thigh, to access your blood vessels. A guide wire is inserted through the incision and a pushed through a blood vessel to the aneurysm.
Special X-rays will be taken so your doctor can see the exact location of the aneurysm. At that point, he or she will insert a catheter – a long, flexible narrow tube – over the guide wire. The catheter is used to carry the graft through your blood vessels to the aorta above the aneurysm. Once in place, the graft is released from the catheter and expands, blocking the flow of blood to the aneurysm, which will shrink the aneurysm over time.
Before the procedure is finished, X-rays will be taken to confirm that blood in the aorta is flowing through the graft, not through the aneurysm. The incisions near your hip will then be closed with sutures.
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