Surgery for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
During surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), the weakened aortic wall is replaced with a hollow manmade tube (a graft).
Risks and Complications
Reaching the Aneurysm
The aorta can be reached through open surgery. Or a less invasive endovascular procedure may be done. Your surgeon will choose the best approach for you.
An incision is made in your abdomen. Once inside, your surgeon gently moves aside your organs to reach the damaged section of the aorta.
Near your groin, 2 small incisions are made. Then a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) is threaded into the artery at the incision. A graft is placed inside the catheter and guided toward the damaged part of the aorta.
Placing the Graft
The goal is to safely route blood past the aneurysm.
During Open Surgery
The aneurysm is opened and cleaned of any blood clot.
The graft is sewn to the aorta.
The wall of the aorta is wrapped around the graft to protect it. The wall is then sewn up.
The incision site is closed with sutures or staples.
During an Endovascular Procedure
Watching the catheter on a video monitor, the surgeon places a catheter in the best position.
The graft is guided through the catheter and expanded so blood can flow through it.
The blood is now re-routed through the graft and does not fill the aneurysm anymore.
The graft is attached inside the artery. It is held in place with stents (metal springs), hooks, or pins.
The catheter is removed. The incision sites are closed with sutures or staples.