During surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), the weakened aortic wall is replaced with a hollow man-made tube (a graft). The goal of placing the graft is to safely route blood past the aneurysm.
The aorta can be reached through open surgery. Or a less invasive endovascular procedure may be done. Your surgeon will choose the best approach for you.
Open Surgery An incision is made in your abdomen. Once inside, your surgeon gently moves aside your organs to reach the damaged section of the aorta.
During open surgery:
- The aneurysm is opened and cleaned of any blood clot
- The graft is sewn to the aorta
- The wall of the aorta is wrapped around the graft to protect it. The wall is then sewn up
- The incision site is closed with sutures or staples
Endovascular Procedure Near your groin, two small incisions are made. Then a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) is threaded into the artery at the incision. A graft is placed inside the catheter and guided toward the damaged part of the aorta.
Watching the catheter on a video monitor, the surgeon places the catheter in the best position.
Risks and complications of abdominal aortic aneurysm repair Among the risks and complications of surgery for AAA are:
- Blood clots in legs
- Kidney failure
- Injury to the colon's blood supply
- Erectile dysfunction
- Spinal cord injury
- Heart attack, stroke or death