If an artery or vein is blocked or damaged, a vascular surgeon may replace the damaged section with a new vessel, known as a graft; a graft can be either synthetic or tissue. Sometimes the graft is created from a human blood vessel, either from a donor or from elsewhere in the patient’s body. A vascular grafting procedure is usually done through traditional open surgery, and requires a hospital stay.
If the aorta (the large artery that carries blood out from the heart) is weakened, it can sometimes be treated with a different type of graft—an endovascular stent graft. This is a strong mesh tube that rests inside the aorta and provides structural support, lessening pressure on the vessel’s walls. The graft is implanted via catheter.