How are abdominal aortic aneurysms repaired?
Each patient is different and the decision to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm depends upon the size of the aneurysm, the age of the patient, underlying medical conditions, and life expectancy.
There are two approaches for repair:
The first is the traditional surgical approach. A large incision is made in the abdomen, the aortic aneurysm is identified and cut out or resected. The missing piece of aorta is replaced with a synthetic graft.
The second approach is placing an endovascular graft. A catheter or tube is threaded into the femoral artery in the groin and the graft is positioned so that it spans and sits inside the aneurysm and protects it from expanding (endovascular: endo = inside + vascular = blood vessel).
The approach to treatment needs to be tailored to the individual patient and very much depends upon the location, size, and shape of the aneurysm.