Heart Beat: 09/09

Patients who opt to have abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) repaired before the aneurysms rupture are finding their survival rates improving, according to research published in the July 6 online edition of Circulation. This improvement in survival odds during the past 20 years coincides with an increase in the use of a less-invasive procedure to repair AAAs. Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) broadens the range of patients who have can elective AAA repair to the very elderly and patients with more comorbidities. Prior to the development of EVAR, AAA repair was usually done through open surgery, which was often seen as risky for patients who were particularly frail. In the study, researchers looked at AAA repair from 1987 to 1999 and from 2000-2005. Five-year survival improved from 67.1 percent to 72.2 percent over the two time periods. EVAR was first introduced in 2000.
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