Background: Endoaneurysmorrhaphy with intraluminal graft placement, described by Creech, is the gold standard for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair. Endovascular aneurysm repair has gained popularity for its minimal invasiveness and satisfying short-term results, but there are still many concerns about the long-term success of the procedure. Since 1998, laparoscopic surgery has been proposed for AAA treatment. The potential benefits of a minimally invasive procedure reproducing the endoaneurysmorrhaphy results over time have been advocated. In our experience, hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery (HALS) has been routinely used for the open-surgery transperitoneal/retroperitoneal approach and for endovascular aneurysm repair. After 4 years, we are able to define the early and middle-term results of such laparoscopic-assisted treatment. Methods: From October 2000 to March 2004, 604 consecutive nonurgent AAAs were treated at our institution. Of these, 122 (20.2%) were treated by HALS. Exclusion criteria for HALS were hostile abdomen (previous major abdominal or aortic surgery), bilateral diffuse common iliac and/or hypogastric aneurysms, massive aortoiliac calcifications, and severe cardiac (ejection fraction 2 50 mm Hg) insufficiency. Juxtarenal and proximal iliac aneurysms were not a contraindication, nor was obesity. In all patients, we performed a minilaparotomy (7-8 cm) both for laparoscopic hand-assisted dissection and for endoaneurysmorrhaphy. All perioperative data were prospectively recorded. Follow-up consisted of ultrasonography and clinical evaluation after 6 and 12 months and then every year after surgery. Results: The mean laparoscopic and total operative times were respectively 64 ± 32 minutes and 257 ± 70 minutes, the mean aortic cross-clamping time was 76 ± 26 minutes, and the mean autotransfused blood volume was 1136 ± 711 mL. The overall mortality and morbidity were respectively 0% and 12.2%. Morbidity was surgery related in only two cases (bleeding from an ipogastric artery lesion and a leg graft thrombosis). The mean intensive care unit stay was 14.3 ± 13 hours. Oral food intake was resumed after 27.4 ± 15 hours, and patients were discharged after a mean of 4.4 ± 1.7 days. Operative times were not affected by obesity, suprarenal aortic cross-clamping, or aneurysm size. Both concomitant iliac aneurysms and bifurcated graft implantation (related to longer vascular reconstruction) involved significantly longer operative times. The learning curve of the procedure (comparing the first 30 patients with the last 92 patients) led to significantly shorter endoscopic, cross-clamping, and total operative times (P = .000). The mean follow-up was 28.6 ± 16 months. Three incisional hernias and one case of bowel occlusion were detected. All these cases (3.4%) required laparoscopic treatment. Conclusions: The HALS technique is a safe and minimally invasive treatment for AAA; it is useful for limiting the need for conventional open surgery and reducing the length of hospital stay. Despite the lack of randomized studies, HALS seems to be associated with a better postoperative course than standard open surgery. HALS can also be considered as an equivalent of a well-established procedure and as a bridge between open and total laparoscopic surgery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine