This is the repair of a bulging, weakened area of the aorta through a small incision made in the groin.
An aneurysm is a bulging and weakening in the wall of an artery. The aorta is the main artery in your body. An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is an aneurysm found in the middle, or abdominal, section of the aorta.
There are two ways to repair an aortic aneurysm.
Whether or not a person is suitable for an endovascular repair depends on:
This care path includes the costs for an endovascular repair.
Your medical history can help determine if you have an increased risk for an AAA. A physical examination may not be reliable unless you have a pulsating abdominal mass that can be easily felt. It is particularly difficult to diagnose an AAA in a person who is overweight or obese. An AAA is often found on an imaging study (CT scan, x-ray or ultrasound) that was done for an AAA screening or other unrelated reasons. Risk factors for developing an AAA include:
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends a one-time ultrasound screening for an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) if you are a male between 65 to 75 years old and have ever smoked. According to the USPSTF, there is not enough evidence of medical benefit to screen asymptomatic:
Early diagnosis and treatment of an AAA can decrease complications and increase the chance of survival. If you are diagnosed with an AAA, but have no symptoms, the decision on how and when to treat it is based on:
Most people who have an AAA have no symptoms, so many are not discovered until they have ruptured, or burst open. Symptoms related to an AAA may indicate the aneurysm is enlarging or about to burst. These symptoms can include:
Signs and symptoms of an abdominal aneurysm that has burst open can include:
This is a medical emergency, and requires immediate medical attention.
Aneurysms less than 5.5 cm may be watched closely to see if they are growing. The larger the aneurysm, the higher the risk the aneurysm will burst and the more frequent the monitoring.
If your healthcare provider recommends a repair of your AAA, prior to surgery tell him or her about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before surgery. These may include:
If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking, as it can interfere with your recovery.
During your surgery, you will receive anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain free.
You will spend a few of days in the hospital after surgery. You may need pain medication and help at home while you recover.
If you have any symptoms of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your options. If you have symptoms of rupture of a AAA, as described above, you must seek medical attention immediately.
During an office visit for evaluation of a possible AAA, ask your healthcare provider the following questions.
After your surgery, you should know what you had done, what medication was given, and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider after discharge. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans. Your surgeon should also communicate with your primary care physician.
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