Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair at Allen Hospital in Waterloo, IA

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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair (AAA Repair) 

Why is the doctor performing this surgery?

To repair a weakened portion of the aorta located in the abdomen. The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body, including the abdomen. The weakened aorta can balloon out, becoming thin, large, and fragile. This ballooning is called an Aneurysm. As it progresses, there is risk of rupture, with massive internal bleeding.

What is the surgery?

Traditional AAA Repair is an open-abdomen (or open-chest) surgery. The bulging aneurysm part of the aorta is removed, an artificial graft is put in its place, and the remaining aortic end-pieces are reattached to the graft. Alternatively, a less invasive surgery involves placing a stent graft to cover the Aneurysm. Blood flows thru the stent, entirely bypassing the aneurysm, thus preventing rupture, and excludes the aneurysm from the circulation. This less invasive procedure can decrease length of stay and recovery time significantly.

Where is the surgery performed?

In the Operating Room (OR), under general anesthesia.

How long does this surgery take?

AAA Repair usually takes 3-5 hours.