Open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair is surgery to fix a widened part in your aorta. This is called an aneurysm. The aorta is 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.
AAA - open; Repair - aortic aneurysm - open
The surgery will take place in an operating room. You will be given general anesthesia (you will be asleep and pain-free).
Your surgeon opens up your belly and replaces the aortic aneurysm with a man-made, cloth-like material.
Here is how it can be done:
- In one approach, you will lie on your back. The surgeon will make a cut in the middle of your belly, from just below the breastbone to below the belly button. Rarely, the cut goes across the belly.
- In another approach, you will lie slightly tilted on your right side. The surgeon will make a 5- to 6-inch (13 to 15 centimeters) cut from the left side of your belly, ending a little below your belly button.
- Your surgeon will replace the aneurysm with a long tube made of man-made (synthetic) cloth. It is sewn in with stitches.
- In some cases, the ends of this tube (or graft) will be moved through blood vessels in each groin and attached to those in the leg.
- Once the surgery is done, your legs will be examined to make sure that there is a pulse.
- The cut is closed with sutures or staples.
Surgery for aortic aneurysm replacement may take 2 to 4 hours. Most people recover in the intensive care unit (ICU) after the surgery.