Objective Although endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair (EVAR) is widely accepted for elective surgery, the uptake of emergency EVAR for ruptured AAA (REVAR) has trailed behind. This study was intended to identify the barriers to widespread application of REVAR in Australia and New Zealand. Methods A cross-sectional survey of members of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Vascular Surgeons was performed in late 2013. Primary themes explored were (1) perceived barriers to performing REVAR and (2) advantages of REVAR compared with open repair. Secondary data measures were the volume of AAA surgery, standard protocol use, and staff accreditation among vascular units. Results A total of 85 surgeons responded to an anonymous online questionnaire (41% response rate); of these, 23 surgeons (27%) had no experience with REVAR, and 65% currently perform more EVAR than open repair for elective procedures, compared with 18% for ruptured AAA. Of the perceived barriers explored, respondents agreed that poor availability of endovascular facilities (73% agreed or strongly agreed) and ancillary staff (56%) were barriers to REVAR. Most surgeons agreed that the advantages of REVAR include reduced intraoperative blood loss, length of stay, and postoperative complications. Four of 11 vascular units performing REVAR had standard protocols in use, and four had mandatory staff accreditation. Conclusions The most common barrier to REVAR identified by surgeons was the poor availability of endovascular facilities, many of which are not ideally suited for this type of procedure. Australian and New Zealand vascular units have low rates of standard protocol use and staff accreditation for REVAR, which may have implications for patient care.
Lo, J., Jedynak, J., & Chuen, J. (2016). Perceived barriers to endovascular repair of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm among Australasian vascular surgeons. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 64(2), 328–332. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2016.01.037