F. Micheletti, R. Pini, R. Piazza, et al.: "In-situ laser fenestration of endovascular stent-graft in abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR)", Proc.SPIE 10042, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications of Light in Cardiology, February 2017

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Endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysms repair (EVAR) involves the minimally invasive implantation of a stent-graft within the aorta to exclude the aneurysm from the circulation thus preventing its rupture. The feasibility of such operation is highly dependent on the aorta morphology and in general the presence of one/both renal arteries emerging from the aneurysm is the absolute limit for the implantation of a standard stent-graft. Consequently, classical intervention methods involve the implantation of a custom-made graft with fenestrations, leading to extremely complicated surgeries with high risks for the patient and high costs. Recent techniques introduced the use of standard grafts (i.e. without fenestrations) in association with mechanical in-situ fenestration, but this procedure is limited principally by the brittleness and low stability of the environment, in addition to the difficulty of controlling the guidance of the endovascular tools due to the temporarily block of the blood flow. In this work we propose an innovative EVAR strategy, which involves in-situ fenestration with a fiber guided laser tool, controlled via an electromagnetic navigation system. The fiber is sensorized to be tracked by means of the driving system and, using a 3D model of the patient anatomy, the surgeon can drive the fiber to the aneurysm, where the stent has been previously released, to realize the proper fenestration(s). The design and construction of the catheter laser tool will be presented, togheter with preliminary fenestration tests on graft-materials, including the effects due to the presence of blood and tissues.