Abdominal/Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms
An aneurysm is a “bulge” in the blood vessel caused by weakening of the blood vessel wall. One of the most common locations for an aneurysm is the main artery in the body – the abdominal aorta, called an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Rupture of this vessel accounts for 15,000 deaths per year, yet they may have no symptoms. This silent killer has been called “the U-boat in the abdomen.” Risk factors for aneurysm development include arteriosclerosis and cigarette smoking. Traditional treatment for an abdominal aortic aneurysm involves major abdominal surgery to “tie-off” the bad segment of vessel and do a bypass operation with polyester graft material.
This surgical procedure can be lifesaving, but has a high rate of morbidity, especially among the elderly and in patients with other serious medical conditions.
The interventional radiologists of VIR are among the few in Illinois who can treat aneurysms with a new device called a stent-graft or endograft, which is released from inside the vessel to seal off the aneurysm from the inside out and is delivered to the abnormal vessel through small tubes that enter the leg arteries.
Our doctors in the Chicago area have performed over 800 successful aneurysm endograft procedures. We participated in the PIVOTAL research study, a randomized trial studying the effect of stent grafts in smaller sized aneurysms. We treat aortic aneurysms in the chest as well. At VIR, abdominal aortic aneurysm procedures are performed with our vascular surgery colleagues using a team approach, and patients are selected by clinical evaluation and detailed review of medical imaging.
The cutting-edge technology of an aneurysm endograft has much less risk, less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and much shorter recovery times than traditional open surgery. Aneurysms almost anywhere in the body can be treated using this new technology. Screening programs are available to detect an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
If you, or a loved one, have an abdominal aortic aneurysm and are interested in the aneurysm endograft procedure, please contact us for information on our abdominal aortic aneurysm treatment options or call us directly at (630) 856-7460.