Endograft Procedure Promising Option for Aortic Injury

Review looks at effectiveness, risks of procedures that repair blunt aortic injuries
By Andrea Mongler
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A minimally invasive technique to repair blunt traumatic aortic injury offers tremendous promise and is less risky than traditional open surgery, and its use should become more widespread, according to a review published in the Oct. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

David G. Neschis, M.D., of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues write that blunt traumatic aortic injury occurs in less than 1 percent of automobile crashes but is responsible for 16 percent of these deaths. They evaluated various treatments for traumatic aortic injury, including a minimally invasive procedure that allows surgeons to place an endograft in the aorta without making a large incision.

The researchers found that traditional surgery, which requires opening the chest, is often risky because patients may have other serious injuries. In the less invasive endograft procedure, doctors insert a catheter into an artery in the leg and then steer the catheter through the blood vessels into the aorta. There they release the endograft, which creates a new lining in the artery. The researchers found that this technique is a way to fix the injury with less blood loss, shorter operating time and faster recovery time.

"With proper preoperative planning, endograft repair provides even severely injured or frail patients with an opportunity for repair and is expected to substantially reduce procedure-related rates of death and paraplegia," the authors conclude.

The primary author reports grant support from W.L. Gore and Associates.

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