Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair

An Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) is a swelling or widening of the main artery from the heart (the aorta) as is passes through the abdomen on its way to the pelvis and legs.

Are Aneurysms dangerous?

Aneurysms are a little like balloons. When they are small they are very unlikely to burst or rupture however as they get bigger the chance of bursting increases. Most small aneurysms (less than 5cm) are very unlikely to cause any problems and are usually just regularly reviewed to keep a check on their size. People with larger aneurysms (greater than 5cm) are generally offered repair to avoid rupture of the aneurysm. The risk of a 5cm aneurysm rupturing is about 1% per year. Only about 25% of people survive if their aneurysm ruptures.

Where is the operation performed?

“Keyhole” or endoluminal repairs are done at the Sunshine Coast Private Hospital in the cardiac catheter lab.

How long am I in hospital?

Most patients are admitted to hospital on the day before their procedure and can usually go home after 3 days.

How are Aneurysms repaired?

Aneurysms are repaired with an endoluminal or “keyhole” operation. With this technique a graft is placed within the aneurysm using x-ray guidance. This is usually done with 2 small incisions in the groins. A sheath containing the graft is introduced into the artery through the groin incision and released into the artery. The graft is held in place using small hooks.