Management of Aortic Aneurysms: Is Surgery of Historic Interest Only?

J. Michael Bacharach, Emily A. Wood, David P. Slovut

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Since its advent in 1991, endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) has become a mainstay of treatment for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). Studies such as the comparison of endovascular aneurysm repair with open repair in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm (EVAR 1) trial, have demonstrated the effectiveness of EVAR in reducing perioperative mortality. Technological improvements in graft design and delivery account for an increasing utilization of endovascular repair. Newer branch and fenestrated graft designs have allowed for treatment of patients with complex aortic anatomy that previously could not be treated with EVAR. Endovascular repair, while dominant, is unlikely to eliminate the need for open repair or to relegate open surgery for AAA to historical interest only. The unprecedented adoption of EVAR has led to complications and modes of failure that were not seen with open repair. The rate of failure is markedly increased when endografts are used outside of the instructions for use (IFU). The long-term durability of fenestrated and investigational branch devices remains to be established. The demand for an endovascular approach by patients and the willingness of physicians to place endografts outside the anatomic IFU criteria may have resulted in the pendulum swinging too far away from open surgical management. The consequence of reduced open aortic surgeries is a concern for both patient care as well as training for vascular surgery fellows. Vascular surgery training programs will require innovative changes in training to assure that vascular surgery trainees will have the requisite skill and experience required to competently perform open surgical repair on what will undoubtedly be some of the most complex aortic pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105
JournalCurrent cardiology reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 29 2015


  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Endovascular stent graft
  • Surgical repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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