The main advantage of the endovascular surgery of brain vessels, for example, is that you do not need a new access to the vessel created by a cut or by drilling a hole in the skull, but you can use existing blood vessels for accessing the vessel to be treated. This enables us to avoid large cuts, drilling bones or create big scars. Endovascular surgery is easy on the body and bears a reduced risk of infections in comparison to open surgery. This makes short hospitalization, short recreation periods and quick return to occupational or sports activities possible.
Advantages of minimally invasive, endovascular surgery
(in comparison to open surgery procedures)
- easy on the body
- reduced risk of infections
- short hospitalization, short recreation periods and quick return to occupational or sports activities
- no scars
During endovascular surgery, general anesthesia is necessary. Because of this, a comprehensive preparation of the procedure is crucial including taking a blood sample, anesthesiological consultation and further preliminary examinations, if necessary. Endovascular therapy uses existing vessels by inserting a catheter to access the damaged vessel. The exact position of the catheter and guide wires is controlled during surgery by taking X-ray images with the angiography device. If angiography is used as a diagnostic means, therapy can just follow directly after the examination in one procedure. Endovascular surgery is not painful and there will be no visible wounds because the skin of the groin is only tapped but not cut. After the operation and the anesthetization no severe symptoms are to be expected. To avoid a groin bleeding, it is sometimes necessary to rest in the bed for a couple of hours subject to the size of the used catheter. But patients will be mobile again at the ward after this short period. It is common to control the results of endovascular surgery employing CT or MRI. If symptoms have declined, patients can be discharged from the hospital 1-3 days after surgery. The whole period of hospitalization amounts about 2-5 days.
Aftercare and rehabilitation endovascular therapy
The aftercare consists of a drug therapy with drugs preventing the blood from clotting (antiplatelet drugs) or anti-inflammatory drugs. A special rehabilitation is only necessary in rare cases. Follow-ups are often a single event weeks or months after endovascular surgery by using MRI or catheter angiography.
Return to work after endovascular surgery
Patients are normally able to resume work one week after being discharged from the clinic.
Return to sports activities after endovascular surgery
Patients are normally able to resume sports activities one week after being discharged from the clinic.
Fields of application of endovascular surgery
Aneurysm or brain aneurysm / cerebral aneurysm
The aneurysm or cerebral aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of a vessel that may rupture and, thus, cause bleedings. The aim of endovascular therapy is to close the bulge over a vascular access through a groin artery or, more rarely, the elbow artery. Platinum coils are guided to the aneurysm via micro-catheters to close the bulge. Besides platinum coils, we also use coils coated with bioactive material, so-called bioactive coils. This way, the closure of the aneurysm and the durability of the results can be improved. The procedure is also called coiling due to the usage of coils. In addition to the closure within the aneurysm, also stents and flow diverting stents are placed. Flow diverting stents have an impact on the blood flow and stop the aneurysm of being an active part of blood circulation.
AV angioma and AV fistula (so-called dural fistula)
The arteriovenous angioma and arteriovenous fistula found in the brain and the spinal cord are often treated with endovascular surgery. Because arterial and venous blood is mixed, these vascular malformations can cause severe symptoms. The aim of endovascular surgery is to close (embolize) the abnormal connections between veins and arteries over a vascular access through a groin artery or, more rarely, the elbow artery. By employing micro-catheters, glues and embolization agents like Onyx are guided to the damaged vessel in order to close it.