FEVAR: A Minimally Invasive Option for Complex AAA

Karen McNew McGuire's picture
By Karen McNew McGuire on September 6, 2018

“I find out one day that I am a ticking time bomb,” explained Frank Huffman.
 
A CT scan revealed that he had a complex abdominal aortic aneurysm, which can be deadly if left untreated. What makes it complex?
 
“His aneurysm went all the way up to the arteries that go to the kidneys and to the bowel,” said Josh Adams, M.D., an aortic and endovascular surgeon at the Carilion Clinic Aortic Center. “For that type of aneurysm, we have to incorporate windows in the stent graft that allow us to maintain blood flow to those vital organs, but still continue to divert blood flow from the aneurysm.”
 
“Dr. Adams is an amazing person,” said Mr. Huffman. “His bedside manner is great, and he explained things in terms that I could understand.”
 
“I like to use an analogy of a pipe in a wall,” said Dr. Adams. “When I explain it to patients, I describe a pipe in their wall that is not working properly. It hasn’t started to leak yet, but it is at risk of leaking.”
 
“An endovascular approach kind of kicks the floor board off so we get access to the pipe area,” added Dr. Adams. “By using stents and wires, we can realign that bad segment of pipe. We use a stent graft to maintain blood flow to the lower extremities but divert blood flow away from the aneurysm and therefore limit the risk that they have of their aneurysm growing and rupturing.”
 
The fenestrated endovascular aortic procedure is only available at select centers across the country, including Carilion Clinic’s Aortic Center.