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Glossary of terms


A

Abdominal aortic aneurysm

A bulge that occurs in the part of the aorta that passes through the abdomen (stomach area). The bulge (enlarging and thinning) of the aorta is due to a weakening in the arterial wall.

Aneurysm

A bulge or ballooning (enlarging and thinning) of a weakened area of a blood vessel.

Aorta

The main artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

E

Endovascular

Inside or within a blood vessel.

Endovascular graft

A graft placed inside a diseased vessel without the use of open surgical techniques. The graft makes a new path through which the blood flows.

Endovascular repair

Placement of a stent graft to seal off or reline an aortic aneurysm. Instead of opening up the abdomen or chest, the doctor makes a small cut near the hip (near the crease between the belly and thigh) to get to the femoral artery (blood vessel). Through this small cut, a graft (metal and fabric tube) is inserted through the femoral artery and gently moved into place to cover the lesion. The graft makes a new path through which the blood flows.

F

Femoral arteries

Blood vessels that run down each leg and carry blood to the thighs and lower body. Doctors can use the femoral arteries as a path to reach arteries in the chest and belly.

I

Iliac arteries

The two large blood vessels that connect the lower end of the aorta to the femoral artery in each leg.

O

Open surgical repair

A type of surgery performed to repair an aneurysm. To reach the aneurysm, a doctor makes a cut through the abdomen, chest, or the side of the patient. The doctor repairs the aorta by replacing the aneurysm section with a fabric tube called a graft. The graft is sewn into place and acts as a replacement blood vessel.

R

Rupture

When a blood vessel bursts, causing serious internal bleeding.

S

Stent

Metal parts of the stent graft that spring outward toward the vessel walls and provide support to the stent graft.

Stent graft

A metal and fabric tube placed inside a diseased vessel without the use of open surgery. The graft makes a new path for the blood to flow through, relining the diseased vessel.

T

Thoracic aortic aneurysm

An aneurysm in the part of the aorta that runs through a person’s chest.

V

Vascular

Referring to the vessels that carry blood.