Aortic Aneurysm occurs when a part of aorta becomes too large or balloons outward. Aorta is a large artery that carries blood to the stomach area of the body, pelvis and legs. Generally, this condition occurs due to weakness in the wall of the artery. A procedure to repair a ballooned area in the aorta is Aortic Aneurysm Repair.
It is also called Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair or AAA Repair. The procedure can be performed in 2 ways
Endovascular Graft Stenting
Aortic Aneursym develops gradually over a period of time, often without any symptoms. AAA Repair is recommended when the aneurysm is very large (more than 2 inches), growing rapidly (more than 1/4th inch in 6 to 8 months) or bleeding.
Symptoms may include
Pain in abdomen or back. In some cases, pain may radiate downwards.
Rapid Heart Rate
In most cases, the doctor will recommend Endovascular Repair as compared to an Open Surgery.
Before the procedure, the doctor will recommend
Strictly stop smoking, in case the patient is a smoker
Stop taking blood thinning medications, 8 to 10 days before the procedure
Fasting 8 to 10 hours prior to the surgery
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, and can take upto 2 to 4 hours.
Then the surgeon will make a large incision in from the breast bone to the belly button.
The aneursym is replaced with with a long synthetic graft - a cloth-like material. In some cases, the ends of the graft will be moved through blood vessels in each groin and attached to those in the leg.
After replacing the aneursym, both the legs are checked for proper blood flow and pulse.
The incision is then sutured.
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia, and can take upto 1 to 3 hours.
The surgeon will make a small incision in the groin region to access the femoral artery.
A stent and a synthetic graft are inserted into the artery, and guided the up into the aorta to where the aneurysm is located.
The stent is opened using a spring-like mechanism and attached to the walls of the aorta.
The aneurysm will eventually shrink around it.
Using X-rays, the doctor will ensure that the stent is in the right place and the aneurysm is not bleeding inside the body.
After the surgery, the patient is monitored in ICU for 1 to 2 days. The patient has to stay in hospital for 5 to 10 days after the surgery. Recovery is faster in endovascular repair than in open surgery.
After discharge, the doctor will recommend to
Wear special sock or stockings to prevent clotting of blood in the legs
Avoid any strenuous activity for 6 to 8 weeks
Get Ultrasound tests done every 6 months to check the recurrence of aneursym
Risk and Complication
Aortic Aneursym Repair is a risky procedure. Risks for this procedure include
Damage to a nerve, causing weakness, pain, or numbness in the leg
Less supply of blood to legs, kidneys or other organs
Heart attack, in rare cases
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