The aorta is the largest artery in the body. The abdominal portion of the aorta carries blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs. Sometimes the walls of the aorta weaken and bulge in one area. This is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). AAA's are most often caused by
On the day of the procedure, you will be given an antibiotic by IV (a needle in your hand or arm). You may also be given a laxative or enema to clear out your bowels.
will be used. It will block any pain and keep you asleep through the surgery. It is given through an IV.
Description of Procedure
In most cases, an incision is made from the breastbone to below the belly button. The doctor clamps the aorta slightly above and below the aneurysm. Any blood clot on the inside of the aorta is removed. An artificial wall made of Dacron is used to strengthen the area. This is called a graft. The graft will be stitched to the normal aorta on either side. Then the clamps are removed. The wound is closed with stitches.
Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. Most people will be sore after the procedure and will be given pain medicines.
Average Hospital Stay
This varies depending on your overall condition. Ask your doctor how long you should plan to stay.
At the Hospital
While you are recovering at the hospital, you may receive the following care:
You will be sent to the intensive care unit for monitoring.
You will have tubes in place, which may include the following:
Urinary catheter—monitors urine output
Arterial catheter—monitors blood pressure
Central venous catheter—monitors pressure in the heart
Epidural catheter—provides pain medicine
Nasogastric tube—inserted through the nose and into the stomach to remove secretions and provide nutrition until your intestines regain normal function
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
to care for the wound.
Gradually return to your normal activities.
To help prevent further problems, you and your doctor will need to work to increase your overall health. Atherosclerosis and high blood pressure should be managed carefully. This can be done with medicines and a healthful lifestyle. If you are a smoker, you should talk to your doctor about quitting.
Call Your Doctor
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge at the incision site
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
New abdominal pain
Any change of color or sensation in your legs or feet
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a