JAMA Surgery: Aortic Stents Safer for Aneurysm Repairs

Post-operative complications and mortality rates were significantly lower for patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms repaired via endovascular stent grafts, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Although anecdotal evidence and randomized clinical trials have long supported that endovascular repair is safer than more invasive, open surgeries, the published findings mark the first time data have definitely shown safety benefits of endovascular repair. Of the 70,946 abdominal aortic aneurysm repair surgeries analyzed, patients who underwent the minimally invasive endovascular procedure had a 42 percent reduction in preventable post-operative complications, and a 72 percent reduction in overall mortality when compared to patients who received open repair surgeries.

The Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) analyzed by researchers included wound infection, blood infection, accidental puncture or laceration, transfusion reaction, as well as mortality.

Open repair surgery of abdominal aortic aneurysms involves a large incision into a patient’s abdomen and sewing in an implantable graft. In contrast, endovascular aortic aneurysm repairs are accomplished by inserting a metallic stent into the body through a blood vessel in the patient’s groin and guiding the stent with the help of X-ray imaging. Once in place, the stent is expanded in order to repair the aneurysm.