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Vasc Surg. 2001 Sep-Oct;35(5):335-44.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular Surgery, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.


Newer, minimally invasive catheter-based endovascular technology utilizing stent grafts are currently being evaluated for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair. A retrospective review of all (3 years) consecutive, non-ruptured elective AAA repairs was undertaken to document the results of AAA surgical repair in a modern cohort of patients to allow a contemporary comparison with the evolving endoluminal data. One hundred twenty-one AAAs were identified in a male veteran population. Mean age was 68.5 +/-7.7 years. Medical history review showed hypertension in 55%, heart disease in 73.5%, peripheral vascular disease in 21%, stroke and transient ischemic attacks in 22%, diabetes mellitus in 7%, renal insufficiency in 10%, and smoking history in 80%. The AAA size was documented with ultrasound (5.2 +/-1.3 cm, n=40) and computed tomography (5.6 +/-1.3 cm, n=100). Fifty-nine percent had angiography. Intraoperative end points included an operative time of 165 +/-6.3 minutes from incision to dressing placement. A Dacron tube graft was used in 78%, the remaining were Dacron bifurcated grafts. A suprarenal clamp was used in 8% for proximal aortic control with juxtarenal aneurysms. A pulmonary-artery catheter was placed in 69%. A transverse incision was used in 69% of patients and a midline incision was used in the rest. Estimated blood loss was 1505 +/-103 mL; cell saver blood returned 754 +/-53 mL; crystalloid/Hespan 4771 +/-176 mL; banked packed red blood cells 0.75 +/-0.11 U. Time to extubation was, in the operating room (78.5%), on the day of the operation (5.0%), postoperative day (POD) 1 (12.4%), POD2 (1.7%), POD3 (0.8%), and one case was performed with epidural anesthesia only. Postoperative end points included a 30-day mortality rate of 1.6% (two patients). Postoperative morbidity included wound dehiscence 0.8%; sepsis, urinary tract infection, wound infection, leg ischemia, ischemic colitis, and stroke each had an incidence of 1.6%; myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, pneumonia, re-operation for suspected bleeding, and ileus or bowel obstruction occurred with an incidence of 3.3%. No significant increase in serum creatinine levels was noted. Time to enteral fluids/nutrition was 3.5 +/-0.08 days. Patients were out of bed to a chair or walking by 1.3 +/-0.06 days postoperatively. The length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) was 2.0 +/-0.12 days and postoperative hospital stay was 6.6 +/- 0.33 days. Transfusion requirement for the hospital stay was 1.6 +/-0.2 U per patient. This review highlights a cohort of male veteran patients with significant cardiac co-morbidity who have undergone repair with a conventional open technique and low mortality and morbidity rates. This group had rapid extubation, time to oral intake, and ambulation. In addition, ICU and hospital stays were relatively short.

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