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Alternative NamesAAA - open; Repair - aortic aneurysm - open
Definition Return to top
Open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair is surgery to fix a widened part (or aneurysm) in your aorta, the large artery that carries blood to your belly (abdomen), pelvis, and legs.
An aortic aneurysm is when part of this artery becomes too large or balloons outward.
Your surgeon opens up your belly and replaces the aortic aneurysm with a fabric material.
Description Return to top
The surgery will take place in an operating room. You will be given general anesthesia (asleep and pain free).
See also: Aortic aneurysm repair - endovascular
Why the Procedure is Performed Return to top
Open surgery to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm is sometimes done as an emergency when there is any bleeding inside your body from the aneurysm.
You may also have an abdominal aortic aneurysm that is not causing any symptoms or problems. Your doctor may have found out about this problem from special tests called ultrasound or CT scan. There is a risk that this aneurysm may open up (rupture) if you do not have surgery to repair it. But surgery to repair the aneurysm may also be risky.
You and your doctor must decide whether the risk of having this surgery is smaller than the risk of bleeding if you do not have the surgery. The doctor is more likely to recommend surgery if the aneurysm is:
Risks Return to top
The risks for this surgery are higher if you have heart disease, lung disease, kidney failure, or other serious medical problems. Risks or problems or complications are also higher for older people.
Risks for any surgery are:
Risks for this surgery are:
Before the Procedure Return to top
Your doctor will do a thorough physical exam and tests before you have surgery.
Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.
If you are a smoker, you should stop. Your doctor or nurse can help.
During the 2 weeks before your surgery:
Do NOT drink anything after midnight, the day before your surgery, including water.
On the day of your surgery:
After the Procedure Return to top
Most people stay in the hospital for 5 to 10 days. During a hospital stay, you will:
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Full recovery for open surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm may take 2 or 3 months. Most people make a full recovery from this surgery.
References Return to top
Gloviczki P, Ricotta JJ II. Aneurysmal vascular disease. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 65.
Greenhalgh RM, Powell JT. Endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm. N Engl J Med. 2008 Jan 31;358(5):494-501.
Lederle FA, Kane RL, MacDonald R, Wilt TJ. Systematic review: repair of unruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. Ann Intern Med. 2007 May 15;146(10):735-41.Update Date: 3/5/2009 Updated by: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.