Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) is a less invasive procedure designed to address issues in the aorta located within the chest. The aorta, the body’s largest artery, plays a crucial role in supplying blood to various organs and tissues. The aorta can develop problems such as an aneurysm (an abnormal bulging in a weak section of the artery wall) or a tear in its inner lining (dissection). TEVAR is a commonly used method for treating aortic aneurysms and dissections occurring in the descending thoracic aorta. Left untreated, these conditions can be life-threatening.
In the past, surgeons typically relied on open surgery to manage thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections. However, TEVAR has become the preferred approach in many cases due to its advantages, including a smoother recovery process and a lower risk of serious complications, provided the patient’s anatomy and other relevant factors make them a suitable candidate. Your healthcare provider will evaluate your candidacy based on your vascular anatomy and other relevant factors.
Surgeons employ TEVAR (thoracic endovascular aortic repair) to address aortic injuries stemming from the following conditions:
Healthcare providers generally favor TEVAR (thoracic endovascular aortic repair) over open surgery for several reasons:
To prepare for TEVAR, follow these steps as advised by your healthcare provider:
When selecting a stent graft for your procedure, healthcare providers determine the most suitable size and type based on your individual needs. Complex aneurysms often require a fenestrated stent graft, which is equipped with openings to ensure blood continues to flow to the arteries branching off from the aorta. This type of stent graft is particularly beneficial for aneurysms affecting the aortic arch, those that span the chest and abdominal area (thoracoabdominal aneurysms), or aneurysms impacting branches that supply blood to the intestines, brain, or arms. Your healthcare provider will provide detailed information on the best stent graft for your situation and the reasoning behind this choice.
To perform a TEVAR, the clinical team will proceed as follows:
The TEVAR procedure is generally completed within an approximate timeframe of two hours.
For aneurysms involving extensive areas of the aorta, clinicians may employ a combination of methods, integrating endovascular procedures with traditional open surgical techniques. Your healthcare provider can offer detailed insights into these surgical options should they be pertinent to your case.
Post-procedure, you may require a one to two-day stay in the intensive care unit (ICU), contingent upon the specific region treated. During this period, your medical team will closely monitor you for any indications of complications before transferring you to a standard hospital ward for ongoing observation. Typically, you’ll be discharged and able to return home within a span ranging from one day to a week.
After your procedure, you’ll typically be discharged from the hospital within a week. It’s important to adhere to your healthcare provider’s advice about resuming your usual activities. Generally, you should:
Your healthcare provider may also suggest making changes to your lifestyle, such as adopting a diet beneficial for heart health and incorporating more physical activity into your daily routine.
Regular follow-up appointments are essential and ongoing after any aortic surgery, including TEVAR. You will likely need to schedule imaging tests with your provider:
These imaging tests are crucial for monitoring the position of the graft and detecting any endoleaks or other issues. Should any complications be identified, your provider will discuss further treatment options with you.
If you have any questions or concerns about your recovery or treatment plan, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider. They are there to provide support and ensure you are comfortable throughout your recovery process.
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