Purpose: To describe a stent-graft system for endovascular repair of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (TAAA) that preserves side branch perfusion.
Technique: The modular endograft system includes 3 components. The primary stent-graft is custom-made from conventional graft fabric and Gianturco Z-stents. Covered nitinol Smart Stents are used for the visceral and renal extensions, and the distal extension is made from a modified Zenith system. With the supine patient under general anesthesia, the components are delivered sequentially through surgically exposed femoral and right brachial arteries in an operation that requires prolonged periods of magnified high-resolution imaging. This system was first used in a 76-year-old man with a contained rupture of a supraceliac ulcer and a large abdominal aortic aneurysm ending proximally at the celiac artery. The endograft was implanted successfully, but the patient developed paraplegia on day 2; imaging documented an excluded aneurysm and excellent flow through the endograft and all prosthetic branches.
Discussion: Endovascular repair of TAAA appears to be feasible. If there are no serious, specific, unavoidable complications, the potential advantages are enormous.