What are my treatment options for an abdominal aortic aneurysm?
If your aneurysm has been discovered early and is still small (less than 5 centimeters), surgery may not yet be necessary. In this case, your vascular surgeon will closely monitor the growth of your aneurysm every 6-12 months by obtaining CT scans. Additionally, it is important to quit smoking and control your risk factors, such as keeping your blood pressure under control with medication.
Once your aneurysm has reached 5 centimeters, the risk of rupture is much higher, and surgery is recommended. Your vascular surgeon will decide what the best options are for you at that time and discuss complications and risks. There are two choices for treatment:
- Traditional Open Repair of AAA: A large surgical incision is made into your abdomen to directly visualize your aortic aneurysm. The aneurysm is opened, and a cylinder-like tube known as a graft is sewn inside to repair it. The weakened area of the aorta is relined with a sleeve of material to strengthen it and prevent rupture of the aneurysm. Hospital stay with this procedure is about 5 days, with full recovery at 6 weeks.
- Endovascular Repair of AAA: A less invasive approach than traditional surgery, this repair involves only a small incision in the groin. Endovascular means that the procedure uses long thin tubes inside your body called catheters. Under guidance of an x-ray, a small catheter is placed through the groin incision and used to pass a cylinder-like tube called a graft up into the aneurysm. This graft is placed so that the ends fit neatly into the non-diseased portion of the artery at the opposite ends of the aneurysm. This is relining the weakened area of the aorta with a strong sleeve of material, thus preventing rupture of the aneurysm. Hospital stay for this procedure is about 1 day, with full recovery in about 1 week.
Where is the procedure performed and who performs this procedure?
This aortic aneurysm treatment procedure is performed in the hospital surgical suite by a vascular surgeon.
How do I find out if I am a candidate for this procedure?
To find out if you are a candidate for this procedure, please call the Vascular Health Clinics at 989.254.6427.