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Can J Surg. 2012 Aug;55(4):254-8. doi: 10.1503/cjs.038310.

Late conversion of endovascular to open repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms.

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Division of Vascular Surgery, London Health Sciences Centre and the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario.



Failure of endovascular repair (EVAR) of an abdominal aortic aneurysm can result in significant risk of morbidity and mortality. We review our experience with late conversions to open repair.


We conducted a retrospective database review to identify all EVAR procedures performed between 1997 and 2010 and the number converted to open repair at our university-affiliated medical centre. Late conversion was defined as those occurring at least 30 days after initial EVAR.


In all, 892 EVARs took place during the study period. Six patients (0.7%) required late conversion to open repair. Their mean age was 71 (range 58-83) years, and half were women. Half of the initial EVARs were for ruptured aneurysms. The median time to conversion was 15.6 (range 1.7-61.3) months. Indications for secondary conversion (50% urgent, 50% elective) included persistent type I endoleak (n = 3), combined type II and III endoleak (n = 1), graft thrombosis (n = 1) and aneurysm rupture (n = 1). Supraceliac clamping was required in most patients (67%), and the mean transfusion requirement was 2.6 units. Total endograft explantation occurred in 2 patients (33%), whereas partial or total endograft preservation occurred in 4 (67%). Median length of stay in hospital after conversion was 7 (range 6-73) days. There were no instances of early or in-hospital mortality following conversion.


Our EVAR experience includes a low rate of late conversion to open repair, with most conversions being a result of persistent aneurysm perfusion. Although technically challenging, late conversion can be safe. Our experience supports ongoing surveillance after EVAR.

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