Aortic Aneurysms

If you have a small aortic aneurysm, your doctor may not recommend surgery right away, instead opting to check you regularly for any changes. But large aneurysms can be life threatening and require immediate treatment. 

At the Wake Forest Baptist Health Vascular Center, we offer the full spectrum of vascular repair, from traditional, open surgery to the latest advancements in minimally invasive technology. We are proud to be among only a small handful of hospitals trained in the newly FDA-approved fenestrated endograft procedure, which makes minimally invasive surgery possible for patients with aneurysms located near their kidneys.

We treat the following types of aneurysms: 

Surgical Treatment Options for Aortic Aneurysm 

Surgical treatments for abdominal, iliac and thoracic aortic aneurysm involve inserting a synthetic graft, or tube, into your aorta to replace or support a damaged section. This type of procedure can be performed a few ways: 

  • Open surgery: Your doctor removes the aneurysm and damaged section of your aorta and sews the graft in its place. This technique requires an incision. 
  • Endovascular surgery: Your doctor inserts a thin tube called a catheter through an artery in your groin and moves the catheter up the aorta to the aneurysm. With the help of X-ray imaging, your doctor uses the catheter to position the graft. Once in place, it supports the aortic walls, helps blood flow and prevents the aneurysm from rupturing. As a catheter-based technique, this procedure only requires a tiny incision in your groin. 
  • Fenestrated endovascular aneurysm repair (FEVAR): This procedure is a type of endovascular surgery, described above. Your doctor uses a CT scan of your aorta to create a custom-fit graft with fenestrations, or holes that correspond to the arteries that branch off from the aorta to the kidneys, small bowel and liver. [Learn more below.]

Your treatment options depend on your anatomy and the size of your aneurysm. Only you and your doctor can decide if endovascular surgery is right for you. 

Fenestrated Endograft at Wake Forest 

Until recently, patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms located close to their kidneys had limited options: They faced open surgery and, in some cases, surgery wasn't an option. When the aneurysm is near the kidneys, there is not much room left to place and secure a stent.  

The fenestrated endograft is custom-designed for each patient to fit his or her unique anatomy. Holes in the graft, called fenestrations, fit arteries that branch off to the kidneys, small bowel and liver. 

At Wake Forest Baptist, our vascular specialists are among a small group of surgeons in North Carolina trained in this procedure. We believe it's important to offer comprehensive treatment options to our patients, so they get the best care possible. Meet our physicians.


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Last Updated: 08-02-2013
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.