If your abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is small (less than 2 inches across), your doctor may recommend watching and waiting.
- You'll need tests every 6 months or so to make sure the aneurysm isn't growing.
- You might take medications to lower your blood pressure and control your cholesterol. You should also make changes to reduce your risk.
If your AAA is large (over 2 inches across) or growing rapidly, it should be repaired. There are two ways to repair an AAA:
- Abdominal surgery. A large incision (cut) is made in your abdomen. The weakened aorta section is removed and replaced with a tube made of a special synthetic (man-made) material.
- Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR, also called "stent grafting"). In an EVAR procedure, two catheters (tiny tubes) are inserted into an artery in your leg and threaded up through it to the aorta. The catheters are used to place a tube called a stent graft into the aorta at the area of the aneurysm. The stent graft "lines" the aorta like an inner sleeve and stays in place after the procedure. Blood flows through the graft and doesn't press against the aneurysm.
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