Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) Repair is used to treat an aneurysm that is part of the aorta that is in the abdomen. Repairing an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm may be performed in two different ways.
- Open Repair. A large incision is made by your doctor in the abdomen to expose the bulging aorta. Once the abdomen has been opened, a graft is used to repair the aneurysm. This is the most commonly used form of AAA repair.
- Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR). Less invasive than Open Repair, Endovascular Aneurysm Repair is done without a large incision. A smaller incision will be made in the patient’s groin. From this point, your doctor will insert special instruments, by way of a catheter, and into an artery inside the groin to reach the aneurysm. At the aneurysm, a stent will be placed alongside a graft for additional support.
Your doctor at the Missouri Heart Center will determine with you what the best procedure is for your current condition.
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Imaging tests may be needed. An abdominal ultrasound may be utilized to screen for and measure the size of your AAA. This will help, not only to assess the best form of AAA for you personally, but also help your doctor prepare for the surgery by gauging size and severity. Likewise, Computed Tomographic Angiography (CTA) may be used to provide valuable anatomic information to your doctor and help determine the optimal type of repair.
Depending on whether your doctor has decided Open or Endovascular Aneurysm Repair is best for you, your treatment may differ. As explained above, Open Repair is more commonplace and will involve a larger incision on the site of the aneurysm than Endovascular Aneurysm Repair. With EVAR treatment, a smaller incision will be made in the patient’s groin. From this point, your doctor will insert special instruments by way of catheter and into an artery inside the groin to reach the aneurysm. At the aneurysm, a stent will be placed alongside a graft for additional support.
How can abdominal aortic aneurysms be prevented?
Focusing on heart health can prevent an AAA. This means watching what you eat, exercising, and avoiding other cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking. Your doctor might also prescribe medicines to treat high blood pressure or cholesterol or to help you control your diabetes.
How long is the down-time after an abdominal aortic aneurysm?
With open repair surgery, it may take up to six weeks to recover. Recovers from endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) takes only two weeks.