Type of Surgery

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Doctor Certified

Last updated: 11/24/2009

Risks

There are risks associated with general anesthesia, not associated with the aortic aneurysm repair. Additional risks of cardiopulmonary bypass are not associated with surgical repair. Depending on the type of aneurysm involved, the risks can differ...

significantly. Since blood flow to the spinal cord is jeopardized by the surgical repair, thoracic aorta aneurysm repair carries a relatively high rate of paralysis. Ascending arch aneurysms may jeopardize coronary blood flow and aortic valve function. Infection of the sternum can influence recovery time. Renal function can be impacted by abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. Renal function may improve or remain compromised. Long-term complications associated with the abdominal surgery include intra-abdominal adhesions, small bowel obstructions, and incisional hernia. Aortic arch aneurysms carry a risk of brain damage associated with deep hypothermic circulatory arrest.



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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

They've become more prevalent since the heart surgery.


-Skip Rutherford

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