Treating Cardiovascular Diseases in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois
An aneurysm is a ballooning of a weakened artery wall. Most aneurysms occur in the aorta, which is the main artery that takes blood away from the heart. Over time, this weakened area may enlarge, which increases its risk of leaking or rupturing (bursting).
Ideally, treatment is performed before an aneurysm ruptures or leaks. The type of treatment depends on the size of the aneurysm.
Larger aneurysms are typically repaired with surgery. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the weakened area of the aorta and replaces it with a graft made from a synthetic material, such as Dacron. Aneurysm surgery recovery averages about 5 – 8 days in the hospital and 4 – 6 weeks afterward.
Smaller aneurysms are generally treated with a procedure known as an endovascular graft.
Preparing for an Aneurysm Surgery
As with most surgical procedures, you will not be able to eat the night before the procedure. Your physician will review all your medications and may ask you to stop taking certain ones prior to surgery.
During Aneurysm Surgery
When you arrive at the hospital, your surgical team will be ready to care for you. This team will include your surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurses and other support staff who know about you and your specific needs.
You will be carefully monitored during the surgery. Because of your medication and anesthesia, you will not remember any of the surgery.
The location of your aneurysm will dictate the location of your incision. A thoracic aortic aneurysm requires a chest incision, while an abdominal aortic aneurysm requires an abdominal incision.
Surgery typically takes from 3 – 6 hours.
Potential Aortic Aneurysm Surgery Complications
Research shows a decreased rate of complications when aneurysm repair is done electively, rather than waiting for aortic aneurysm symptoms to appear.
Potential aortic aneurysm surgery risksare similar to those associated with most major surgical procedures and include:
- Blood clots
- Heart attack
- Kidney damage
Aneurysm Surgery Recovery
As with any surgical procedure, there will be pain associated with the incision. Pain management, effective mobilization and excellent pulmonary function will help with your recovery.
The nursing staff, therapists and other team members will guide you during your recovery in the hospital, which is likely to range between 5 – 8 days.
Your recovery will continue an additional 4 – 6 days afterward. Following your post-operative instructions may shorten your recovery and prevent complications.
Nationally Recognized for Treating Aneurysms
Aurora Health Care is known nationally for its highly skilled vascular surgeons, staff and state-of-the-art equipment. Our patients appreciate the convenience of seeing their entire team at one location.
Aurora doctors are conveniently located throughout eastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois. Find a doctor or vascular specialist near you. To get a second opinion or if you need assistance finding a provider, please call 888-649-6892.