Vascular Specialists Tyler Texas
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Non-Invasive Abdominal Vascular Evaluation:
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Endograft

What is a AAA endograft?

An endovascular stent graft is a tube composed of fabric supported by a metal mesh called a stent. It can be used for a variety of conditions involving the blood vessels, but most commonly is used to reinforce a weak spot in an artery called an aneurysm. Treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) with an endograft — also known as an endoluminal graft or stent-graft — is a much less invasive approach to treating AAA.  Endografts have specific technical limitations and potential complications that must be considered. Once an endograft has been placed, there is a need for long-term surveillance to ensure that the graft remains in the correct position, that flow through the graft is normal and that the aneurysm is not expanding.  An “endoleak” is present if there is flow in the aneurysm sac outside the endograft. Some endoleaks require treatment, others can be observed.

The schedule for post-operative surveillance imaging may vary, but usually tests are ordered at three, six and 12 months after the endograft is placed, then annually thereafter. Ultrasound duplex scanning is non-invasive and does not require use of X-ray contrast. The duplex scan can show the size of the aneurysm sac, the absence or presence of endoleak, and it can assess blood flow through the endograft.

What can I expect during the exam?

Some preparation is needed. The study examines arteries in the abdomen and pelvis. Gas in the intestinal tract can interfere with ultrasound evaluation. It is therefore best to have the examination performed after an overnight fast and it is important to avoid tobacco prior to the test.
A complete examination is approximately 30 minutes.  It is performed in a darkened room lying on an exam table. Images will be taken using the ultrasound equipment.  A transducer is placed on the skin with a small amount of water soluble ultrasound gel. 

Patient Instructions

  • Allow 30 minutes for a complete examination.
  • No smoking for one hour prior to study - it can create a constriction of your arteries and increase abdominal gas.
  • Wear loose comfortable two piece clothing that allows access to the abdominal area.
  • Fast for at least 8 hours before the scan -to limit any excess bowel gas which may otherwise restrict the view.
  • Please notify us if you suffer from diabetes and we will try and accommodate you with an early morning appointment.
  • Unless specified, you should take your usual medications with a small amount of water.

 

 

Please call us with questions or to schedule an appointment.

Vascular Specialists of East Texas