Endovascular aneurysm repair involves correcting a bulge or widened area in a blood vessel. Endoleaks are a complication that can result after the aneurysm repair procedure, in which blood leaks into the aneurysmal sac. Endoleaks can cause an aneurysm to become larger and even rupture. Endoleaks are classified into five different types, and can occur in up to 25% of patients.
Patients with endoleaks will often not experience any symptoms. If a patient who has undergone endovascular aneurysm repair experiences an expansion of the aneurysm, further investigation is necessary.
Patients who undergo aortic aneurysm repair require lifelong imaging surveillance. Various imaging techniques can be used to diagnose endoleaks.
The specific characteristics of the endoleak and the patient’s ability to tolerate surgical repair determine the selection of the treatment method. Where feasible, minimally invasive treatments have become the preferred approach, and involve repairing the endoleak by preventing blood flow to the aneurysm.