Type of Surgery

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Doctor Certified

Last updated: 11/24/2009

Morbidity/Mortality

During 1999 over 15,000 deaths in the United States were attributed to aortic aneurysm as reported by the American Heart Association. Without treatment, the five-year survival rate is 13%. The Multicentre Aneurysm Screening Group studied non-emergent...

abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, showing a 2–6% mortality rate at 30 days post surgery. Emergency surgeries demonstrate 37% mortality. In another study, treatment of cardiac disease by open heart surgery, not cardiac catheterization intervention, demonstrated a better outcome prior to elective treatment for abdominal aortic aneurysm.

During treatment of thoracic aneurysm repair the incidence of paraplegia is 6–10%. Left vocal cord paralysis is recognized if the laryngeal nerve has been compromised by the procedure. Multiple organ failure is incident in death, with respiratory failure being among the most common. If the aneurysm is above or involves the renal arteries, renal failure can occur in 4–9% of patients.

Treatment of the ascending aorta and aortic arch repair carry many of the risks associated with cardiopulmonary bypass, including hemostatic difficulties, left ventricle dysfunction, or myocardial (heart muscle) dysfunction. Irreversible brain damage is also an additional risk.

Cardiac function can be compromised in all patients with thoracic or abdominal aortic aneurysms. Hemorrhage is of frequent concern and is more of a risk as the number of suture lines increases. Forty to seventy percent of all deaths can be contributed to cardiac malfunction and blood loss.



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Your aorta is the major artery leaving the heart, but extends to the abdomen. The video shows how a bulging out of the aorta (abdominal aortic aneurysm) is treated with a stent.

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An incision is made in the abdomen (A), and the aneurysm is visualized (B). The aorta is clamped above the aneurysm, and the aorta is cut open (C). The clotted blood is removed (D). A synthetic graft may be used to replace the part of the aorta that had the aneurysm, and it is stitched in place (E). The aorta is then closed over the graft (F). (Illustration by GGS Inc.) An incision is made in the abdomen (A), and the aneurysm is visualized (B). The aorta is clamped above the aneurysm, and the aorta is cut open (C). The clotted blood is removed (D). A synthetic graft may be used to replace the part of the aorta that had the aneurysm, and it is stitched in place (E). The aorta is then closed over the graft (F). (Illustration by GGS Inc.)




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Other Information

An aortic aneurysm is a general term for any swelling (dilatation or aneurysm) of the aorta, usually representing an underlying weakness in the wall of the aorta at that location. While the stretched vessel may occasionally cause discomfort, a greater concern is the risk of rupture, which causes severe pain; massive internal hemorrhage; and, without prompt treatment, results in a quick death.

The definitive treatment for an aortic aneurysm is surgical repair of the aorta. This typically involves opening up of the dilated portion of the aorta and insertion of a synthetic (Dacron or Gore-tex) patch tube. Once the tube is sewn into the proximal and distal portions of the aorta, the aneurysmal sac is closed around the artificial tube. Instead of sewing, the tube ends, made rigid and expandable by nitinol wireframe, can be much more simply and quickly inserted into the vascular stumps and there permanently fixed by external ligature


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aortic_aneurysm

Other Information

Traditional Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) surgery has undesirable side effects that range from cognitive loss to increased hospital stays that are believed to be related to artificial heart pumps. In this project, we believe that if the heart were able to beat freely during surgery, these pumps would not be needed and it is possible that these side effects might be lessened.


-M. Cenk Cavusoglu

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