Complementary surgical/interventional techniques for nonresective management of 'inoperable' aneurysms: A second look

George J. Todd, Joseph J. DeRose, Eric C. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Induced thrombosis ('nonresective' therapy) of aortic aneurysms by distal arterial ligation, coil/wire embolization, and extraanatomic bypass was devalued by anecdotal reports emerging during the mid-1980s. Nevertheless, we have recently found the technique to be life-saving in occasional cases and worth revisiting. Since 1990, standard aortic aneurysm repair has been performed in 231 patients (99.1% survival), endovascular aortic aneurysm repair in 6 patients (83.3% survival), and combined surgical/interventional 'nonresective' repair of a variety of aneurysms in 10 patients (100% survival). Mean age of the group was 67.9 years. Repair was performed for aortoiliac aneurysms (4), common iliac aneurysms (3), internal iliac aneurysms (2), and a large proximal subclavian artery pseudoaneurysm (1). Four of the patients had been explored and declared to be 'inoperable' (retroperitoneal fibrosis) prior to transfer to the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. All patients survived. Aneurysm rupture has not occurred in any patient, but one patient with a presumably thrombosed subclavian pseudoaneurysm presented 26 months postcoil-induced thrombosis with progressive aneurysm enlargement due to incomplete aneurysm thrombosis and required repair using circulatory arrest. Eight of the patients remain alive (80%) at a mean follow-up of 40.3 months (range 14-88 months). Two patients died of malignancy (30 months) and cardiac disease (15 months). It is concluded that combined surgical/interventional techniques can be life- saving in the rare instances when conventional or endovascular aneurysm repair is not advisable but that complete aneurysm thrombosis is essential and occasionally difficult to achieve. Since small proximal portions of the aneurysm may remain patent and not be visualized on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans, contrast angiographic documentation of complete aneurysm thrombosis is essential prior to hospital discharge and close follow-up is necessary to ascertain long-term adequacy of the repair. Incomplete thrombosis is suspected as a major factor in earlier reports of aneurysm rupture after seemingly successful nonresective therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-254
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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