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Aortic Center

The Vascular & Interventional Pavilion (VIP) specializes in treating aortic conditions with minimally invasive procedures. Our vascular surgeons routinely perform these procedures in our comfortable, fully-accredited outpatient surgery center in St. Petersburg, Florida. If necessary, our surgeons may perform vascular surgery at the hospital rather than the VIP outpatient surgery center.

Patients in need of aortic treatment at VIP begin with a comprehensive examination and may undergo vascular testing in our fully accredited, onsite vascular lab in St. Petersburg, Florida. We have the most advanced technology available to diagnose and treat vascular conditions in the least invasive way, including diagnostic vascular imaging services.

After vascular surgery, most patients are released to go home with a caregiver or family member a few hours after the procedure is complete. Upon release, we will provide you with post-op instructions, and we may prescribe aspirin or other medications that thin the blood in order to prevent clots from forming on the stent. A follow-up visit will be scheduled so that the doctor can check blood flow through the treated artery.

About Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

An aneurysm is a ballooning or weakening of an artery wall. The process is usually caused by plaque on the inner lining of the wall. Aneurysms may also be caused by trauma or heredity. Most people are unaware that they have an aneurysm until it is found incidentally during other testing. Aneurysms usually occur in the thoracic (chest) or abdominal (belly) aorta, the main blood vessel in the body. Aneurysms can occur in other blood vessels as well.

Aneurysms are usually without symptoms. A small percentage of patients experience symptoms including back pain, abdominal pain, and chest pain.

Diagnostic Testing

Non-Invasive Testing
Abdominal Ultrasound: A probe will be placed on your abdomen and then sound waves are sent through the skin to form a picture of the aorta on the screen.

CT Scan: A computer uses x-rays to produce pictures of the structures inside the body. Patients may need to drink a barium solution. Patients must fast for this test.

CT Angiogram: This is the most precise test for defining the anatomy of the aneurysm, including the size, diameter and proximity of the aneurysm to the kidney arteries. Images are enhanced by injecting the patient with contrast. Patients must fast for this test.

Invasive Arterial Testing
Angiogram: An angiogram is an x-ray of your arteries. The test is done to determine the exact location of disease in the arteries, including the size and shape of the aneurysm. Blood work is drawn before the test to check the kidney function and ability of the blood to clot.

During the test an intravenous catheter is inserted into a vein in your arm. You will be given intravenous fluids and medicine to relax you.

A needle will be inserted to numb the area of the artery and then a catheter will be placed in the artery (usually the groin or arm). Dye will be injected into the artery. The procedure takes approximately one hour. After the procedure you will need to lie flat for several hours with pressure at the puncture site to prevent bleeding.

Medical Treatment

The treatment for aneurysms involves surgical repair of the artery. This is accomplished by one of two techniques: open surgical repair or endovascular repair.

Although aneurysms may be hereditary, it is also believed that atherosclerosis plays a role in the development of aneurysms. Treatment that is strongly recommended would be changes in lifestyle, especially ones that can begin at home. Many risk factors include: age, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and a family history. While family history and age cannot be controlled, taking control of your lifestyle can make a difference.

Minimally Invasive Treatment
The endovascular repair (contemporary) is minimally invasive surgery. Using this technique, a stent graft, which is a woven polyester tube, is placed inside the diseased vessel without opening the surrounding tissue or the blood vessel. This excludes the aneurysm from normal blood flow. An incision will be made in the both groins. A catheter with the endograft is advanced up the artery in your groin and put in place to exclude the aneurysm sac. The surgery takes approximately two hours. The patient is recovered in the post anaesthesia care ares. The patient is then transferred to the vascular nursing floor; this is a regular surgical floor. The surgery generally does not require a stay in the intensive care unit. The patient is usually discharged within 1-2 days.

Surgical Treatment
The open repair (traditional) is major surgery. The aneurysm is opened and the contents (thrombus) within it are removed. A piece of synthetic tube graft is sewn in place where the aneurysm was, to reinforce the blood vessel walls. The surgery takes approximately 3 hours, requires general anaesthesia, and a large incision is made on your left side. The patient will be placed on a ventilator or breathing machine and the patient may be in the intensive care unit for 1-2 days. The patient is then transferred to the vascular surgery floor and usually discharged within 3-5 days.

Advancing Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repairs for
Faster, Better Recovery

Being diagnosed with an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) can be frightening for patients and their families. Fortunately, recent advancements in AAA repair are helping more patients receive life-saving procedures that enable potentially faster, more comfortable recovery.

One of Florida’s leading centers for the treatment of aortic and vascular disorders, the Vascular & Interventional Pavilion offers patients specialized medical expertise in the latest minimally invasive AAA repair procedures, including Percutaneous Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (PEVAR).

PEVAR Procedures: Smaller Incisions, Shorter Surgeries, Improved Patient Satisfaction

For patients who need surgical treatment for their AAA, PEVAR is the next generation in patient-centered options for aortic aneurysm repair. In the Endologix PEVAR procedure, a small (~0.5 cm) puncture incision is made in each leg artery. On one side, closure devices are placed before the endograft is delivered. After the endovascular repair, the closure device sutures are tied. A closure device is then also placed on the other side. This is in contrast to standard endovascular repair where ~5 cm incisions are made in both legs near the groin to allow the physician to directly visualize the access artery.

The incisions made during the Endologix PEVAR procedures involve groin punctures, small enough to be addressed with a single suture or potentially covered by a simple bandage.

Endologix is a publicly-held company trading on NASDAQ: ELGX. The Company's corporate office is located in Irvine, California.

Why PEVAR Is Preferred

PEVAR has been shown to:

  • Decrease procedure time 
  • Reduce the need for post-operative pain relief 
  • Minimize the risk of wound complications 
  • Potentially reduce blood loss and hospitalization time 
  • Facilitate the use of local/regional anesthesia 

All of this contributes to improved patient satisfaction.

Your PEVAR Specialists

The Vascular & Interventional Pavilion is home to a team of specialists who bring a proven success rate in the treatment of AAA. Our PEVAR physician team is committed to helping you recover more quickly and comfortably, so that you can return to your family, home, and life. 

About Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) occurs when the portion of the aorta passing through the abdomen bulges as a result of a weakening of the vessel wall. The walls become thin, lose their ability to stretch, and may become unable to support the flow of blood through the aorta. This can lead to the aneurysm bursting, which causes serious internal bleeding. Most patients with AAA are men over the age of 65 who have a family history of the disease, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, and/or who smoke.

An estimated 2 million adults in the U.S. live with AAA disease, with nearly 200,000 new cases of AAA diagnosed each year. Of those patients, approximately 15,000 may die from aneurysm rupture. Fortunately, there are effective and safe treatments that can treat or even cure an AAA, especially when diagnosed early before it causes symptoms.

Vascular Surgery from Experts You Can Trust

We look forward to helping you improve your vascular health through education, consultation, prevention, and minimally invasive treatment. Please use our online form to request a free consultation at VIP or call to schedule an appointment today! Dial (813) 513-3030 for Tampa, (727) 827-2993 for St. Petersburg or Largo, or (863) 577-8346 for Lakeland, Florida.