Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair
Indication: To prevent death from rupture of the aneurysm.
Preoperative Evaluation: First your doctor performs a complete history and physical exam. Then the initial test to detect and measure the aneurysm is either an ultrasound (Aortic ultrasound ) or a CAT scan (computed tomography) of the aorta. If aneurysm repair is to be undertaken, further anatomic information is obtained with an aortogram (X-ray study of the aorta using dye). A stress test may be ordered as well. This is to be sure that the heart is strong enough to withstand surgery.
Procedure: The aneurysm is replaced with an artificial blood vessel made from specially woven Dacron material.
Length of Stay: One to three days in the intensive care unit (ICU) followed by 4 to 6 days in a regular room.
Recovery: 4 to 6 weeks with no driving for two weeks and no heavy lifting (over 15 lbs.) for 6 weeks.