New Surgery Raises Abdominal Aneurysm Survival

It's a less invasive way of repairing blood vessels at risk for rupture

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FRIDAY, Aug. 27, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Aneurysms in the abdominal aorta can lead to potentially fatal ruptures of this major vessel. Now, researchers say they've developed a new, less invasive surgery to repair abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) that boosts odds for short-term patient survival by two-thirds.

The U.K. study was published Aug. 25 in the early online issue of the journal The Lancet.

In the procedure, called endovascular repair (EVAR), two small incisions are made in the groin. A graft is inserted and passed through the arteries to the site of the AAA. The graft is then fixed in place with a stent.

In a study of 1,000 patients at 41 hospitals in the United Kingdom, the death rate within 30 days of surgery for AAA was 1.7 percent for those who had less-invasive EVAR, and 4.7 percent for those who had conventional open surgery.

However, the study also found that the patients who had EVAR required 75 percent more secondary procedures than patients undergoing standard AAA surgery.

In a prepared statement, co-researcher Roger Greenhalgh, of Imperial College of London, stressed that these are "early results," so "the early promise of endovascular repair cannot be guaranteed and might not endure in the long term."

Still, he said, the findings may "provide justification for continued use of this technique in controlled or trial settings."

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about abdominal aortic aneurysm.

SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, Aug. 24, 2004


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