Why is an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair performed?

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Open repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) -- a bulging, weakened area in the wall of the aorta (the largest artery in the body) -- involves an incision of the abdomen to directly visualize the aortic aneurysm. Reasons an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair may be performed include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • To prevent the risk of rupture
  • To relieve symptoms
  • To restore a good blood flow
  • Size of aneurysm greater than 5 centimeters in diameter (about two inches)
  • Growth rate of aneurysm of more than 0.5 centimeter (about 0.2 inch) over one year
  • When risk of rupture outweighs the risk of surgery
  • Emergency life-threatening hemorrhage (uncontrolled bleeding)
There may be other reasons for your physician to recommend an abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.

Continue Learning about Aneurysms

Aneurysms

Aneurysms form balloons in weakened arteries of our bodies, potentially causing life-threatening problems such as a stroke. Although aneurysms can form in any weakened artery, they commonly occur in the arteries of the brain and i...

n the aorta, the central artery that extends from your heart through the center of your abdomen and chest. Certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, can weaken the arteries, which deliver oxygenated blood from our heart to the rest of our bodies. The pressure of blood traveling through the arteries can lead to this balloon-like bulge. You can have an aneurysm for years without symptoms or problems. Others can have an aneurysm that pops, which can lead to a stroke if bleeding occurs in the brain. Ruptured aneurysms must be treated quickly, usually within minutes, or it can become deadly: about 50% of all ruptured aneurysms are fatal.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.