The aorta provides a vital function in the body because it is the large artery that carries blood to the pelvic region as well as to the abdomen and legs. An aortic aneurysm is when a portion of this artery causes a section of the vessel wall to become enlarged and balloon outward. This occurs because of a weakness in the wall of the artery that evolves slowly over time. Because of this, aortic aneurysms are generally discovered in older people. If this problem is left unattended, the outcome can be a rupturing of the aneurysm forcing blood to penetrate through the layers of the aortic wall and resulting in significant morbidity. Historically thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms are treated through an invasive open operation, resulting in an often painful and lengthy recovery. Today a relatively new procedure is available called endovascular aortic repair or, EVAR, which is a far less invasive surgery.
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