What Is Endovascular Stent Grafting? Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm (TAA)


The word endovascular refers to the area inside of a blood vessel such as the aorta. Endovascular stent grafting, or endovascular aortic repair (EVAR), is a newer form of treatment for thoracic aortic aneurysms that is less invasive than open surgery. Endovascular stent grafting uses a device called an endovascular stent graft.

The endovascular stent graft is a synthetic fabric tube (graft) supported by a metal scaffold (stent). During endovascular stent grafting the endovascular stent graft is placed inside your thoracic aorta using a long, thin, soft, plastic tube called a delivery catheter.

Thoracic aortic aneurysms can weaken the aorta, your body’s largest blood vessel. This can develop into a potentially serious heath problem that can be fatal if the aneurysm bursts, causing massive internal bleeding. The endovascular stent is placed inside of your thoracic aorta to help reinforce the blood vessel and prevent the aneurysm from rupturing.

Here is how the endovascular stent graft is placed in your thoracic aorta:

  1. The catheter is inserted into an artery in the leg near the groin
  2. Using advanced imaging methods, the surgeon guides the catheter carrying the stent graft to the area of the aneurysm inside the aorta
  3. Once the stent graft is in position, the surgeon deploys it into place and removes the catheter

Comparing Endovascular and Open Surgery

Endovascular stent grafting and open surgery grafting are both done to prevent a thoracic aneurysm from rupturing.

Open-chest surgery is the traditional treatment for repairing a thoracic aortic aneurysm

Open-Chest Surgery

Open surgery is performed under general anesthesia. A surgeon first makes a cut in your side. Then, the aneurysm is replaced with a fabric graft that is sewn into place.

Endovascular Surgery

Endovascular stent grafting may be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the patient. Endovascular stent grafting is considered less invasive than open surgery, because the endovascular stent graft is put into place without open-chest surgery or removing part of your aorta.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.