FDA Approves Device for Treating Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms


December 29, 2010

The Endurant AAA Stent Graft System, from Medtronic, can be used for the minimally invasive treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms. It is a safe and effective treatment option that doesn’t require major surgery, an extended hospital stay or a long recovery period.

It is a flexible wire frame (stent) sewn onto a specially woven fabric tube (graft) that physicians use to create a new path for blood flow in the patient’s aorta. This reduces pressure on the aneurysm and the risk of rupture. The new device is designed to conform to a broad range of aortic anatomies and is delivered through catheters inserted into blood vessels in the groin.

AAAs rarely cause symptoms until they rupture, which usually results in death due to rapid and extensive internal bleeding. They are often found coincidentally on X-rays or other medical imaging studies performed for other reasons. Detection and diagnosis of this condition are critical to its effective management. The Society for Vascular Surgery recommends treatment for AAAs that are 5.5 cm or greater in diameter.

Physicians rely primarily on two approaches to treat AAAs: open surgical repair and endovascular repair. Open surgical repair requires a large incision in the abdomen to access the aorta. It involves removing the aneurysmal segment and replacement with a synthetic graft that is sewn onto healthy aortic tissue. Endovascular repair is a less invasive procedure in which a stent graft – a wire mesh supporting a fabric tube – is compressed on a delivery catheter, threaded through an artery in the groin and expanded at the site of the aneurysm. It does not require removal of the aneurysmal segment.

For more information: www.medtronic.com