How does elective laparoscopic abdominal aortic aneurysm repair compare to endovascular aneurysm repair?

Nadeem Ahmed, Nicholas D Gollop, Jonathan Ellis, Omar A Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


A best evidence topic in surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was how elective laparoscopic abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair compared to endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) in terms of survival. There were 229 papers found using the reported search, with 8 papers (5 prospective studies, 1 retrospective study, 1 randomized trial and 1 systematic review) representing the best evidence to answer the question proposed. Current evidence suggests that EVAR is the preferred surgical approach for AAA repair, due to shorter hospital stay and lower perioperative morbidity and mortality rates, as opposed to an open surgical approach. Despite this, EVAR is subject to a number of limitations, including device restrictions in patients with anatomical variations as well as increased risk of future complications stemming from device implantation. We discuss a key study that showed that complications in the EVAR group commonly included endoleak type II and graft thrombosis. More importantly, there were similar rates of complications between those patients receiving EVAR and those receiving minimally invasive aortic surgery. The evidence suggests that elective laparoscopic AAA repair has a favourable safety profile comparable with that of EVAR, with low conversion rates as well as similar mortality and morbidity rates. This has been illustrated in several studies. We discuss a prospective randomized trial of 100 patients, which compared EVAR with hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery. This study showed no deaths in either group after the procedure or at follow-up after 12 months, with similar complication rates between the groups. While the evidence suggests that EVAR is less invasive, it does not always significantly alter the postoperative course or length of hospital stay for patients. We conclude from the evidence available that elective laparoscopic AAA repair may have a role in those patients who are unsuitable for EVAR. Unfortunately, few studies exist directly comparing these two techniques, and those that do are subject to limitations, for example, study population bias, small sample sizes and a lack of comparison in the literature between the common AAA repair techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-820
Number of pages7
JournalInteractive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
Early online date26 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal
  • Benchmarking
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Endovascular Procedures
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Hand-Assisted Laparoscopy
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Patient Selection
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

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