Thoracic or abdominal
aortic aneurysms that are large, causing symptoms, or
rapidly getting bigger are considered at risk of rupturing. Surgery is usually
recommended if any one of these factors is present. Your doctor will
- Whether you need urgent
- Whether you will be able to withstand a
- Whether you can avoid surgery, at least for the
When making a decision about surgery for an aortic
aneurysm, the benefits in relation to the risks of surgery must be considered,
as well as the risks of major surgery. People who are at significant risk from
surgery may elect to use medical management or another technique such as a
stent graft procedure.
Your doctor will closely monitor the size
and rate of growth of smaller aneurysms using
computed tomography (CT) scan, or other imaging
Abdominal aortic aneurysms
In men, surgery is typically recommended for
abdominal aortic aneurysms that are causing symptoms
or that are 5.5 cm or larger in diameter. In women, surgery may be recommended
for smaller aneurysms.
Surgery is also recommended for small aneurysms that have grown more than
.5 cm in 6 months.
The decision to have surgery, delay
surgery, or not have surgery at all depends on other things too. These
may include older age or medical problems that make surgery more
Surgical repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms
Both traditional (open) surgery and endovascular aortic
repair are used to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms. Talk to your doctor about which
surgery is best for you.
Traditional (open) surgery. If you have open surgery, your doctor will
make a large cut in your chest or belly. Then, your aneurysm will be removed
and the damaged portion of your blood vessel will be replaced with a man-made
graft. For more information about open surgery, see surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Endovascular repair. If you have an endovascular repair, a tube
called a stent graft is inserted through an artery in the groin. The stent
graft makes a bridge between the healthy parts of the aorta (above and below
the aneurysm). Although this procedure works well right away, experts do not
know enough about its long-term effects. Because of this, you will need regular
CT scans for as long as you have the graft. For more information about endovascular repair, see Endovascular repair with a stent for an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
For more information about surgical and endovascular repair, see:
Thoracic aortic aneurysms
will recommend that you have surgery for a
thoracic aortic aneurysm based on many things. These include:
- The location of the aneurysm, such as the ascending or descending part of the aorta .
- The size of the aneurysm.
- Whether the aneurysm is part of a genetic problem, such as Marfan's syndrome.
- Whether you need another heart surgery such as a heart valve replacement surgery.