Extra-Anatomic Arterial Reconstruction with Ligation of Common Iliac Arteries and Embolization of the Aneurysm for the Treatment of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms in High-Risk Patients

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The mortality of an unrepaired abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) generally exceeds the mortality associated with surgical repair. However, as our longevity increases, more frequently we see patients whose risk of surgical repair approximates the risk of rupture. We present an extra-anatomic bypass graft with complete aneurysm exclusion by iliac ligation and coil embolization of the aneurysm as an alternative for these high-risk patients.


An extra-anatomic bypass graft, followed by bilateral iliac artery ligation (retroperitoneal approach) and complete coil embolization of the AAA, was performed in eight patients (mean age, 77 years) found to be at prohibitive operative risk because of multiple comorbidities (American Society of Anesthesiologists class IV). Most patients (5 of 8) were symptomatic on presentation with a mean AAA diameter of 7 cm (range, 6.7-9.5 cm). We repair approximately 30 infrarenal aneurysms per year electively at our institution.


All patients tolerated the surgical procedures. The average hospital stay was 8 days. All but two aneurysms demonstrated complete thrombosis by 48 hours. After 48 months there was no incidence of graft thrombosis, peripheral ischemia, visceral ischemia or thrombus infection. There was one perioperative death from aspiration pneumonia. Seventy-five percent (6 of 8) of patients have survived at least 1 year without surgical complications. No patient has had a ruptured aneurysm.


Combining an extra-anatomic bypass graft and complete exclusion of the AAA by ligation of the common iliac arteries and a coil embolization is an effective, less invasive treatment option for patients with AAA and prohibitive operative risk. We emphasize the need for complete embolization documented by decreased aneurysm size.