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Heart & Vascular

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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Not all aortic aneurysms require intervention. If they are very small, yuor physician may watch them to see if they enlarge or grow rapidly. Many aneurysms stay stable for years. If an AAA grows larger than 5.0 to 5.5 cm, then repair is necessary.

The endografting procedure is the preferred method of AAA repair for patients who qualify for it.

The discomfort and blood loss associated with the endograft procedure are minimal. Patients typically go home within 24 hours and are back to work or their usual activities within a couple of days.

The endograft patient’s experience is markedly different from the traditional surgical experience. If a patient is not anatomically suited for endograft placement, traditional open surgical repair is necessary. This approach requires a large abdominal incision. A vascular surgeon then repairs the aneurysm using a graft made of synthetic material and often performs a bypass procedure to the legs. Traditional AAA surgical repair means a four- to six-week recovery for patients. These patients do experience discomfort and limited mobility throughout a portion of the recovery period.


H2H - Fall 2012 AAA

Recent studies have determined that patients do equally as well long-term with the endograft procedure as compared to open surgery.

Though it is rare, AAAs may rupture. This is a true medical emergency that requires immediate intervention. In the past, surgery was the only option. Now, endografting can often be performed and may increase survival. If you or someone you know experiences the following sudden symptoms, call 911 immediately.

  • Severe, constant pain in abdomen or back.
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Shock