aneurysm surgery

overview

Aneurysm surgery repairs a bulge in a weakened artery wall before it leaks or bursts. Most aneurysms develop in the aorta, the main artery that carries oxygen-rich blood away from your heart.

evaluation

Before your surgery, your doctor may request lab tests, a CT scan, or an angiogram to evaluate the aneurysm prior to surgery. You will need to see your primary doctor or cardiologist to be sure your heart is strong enough for surgery. Your doctor will talk with you about any questions or concerns you have and give you instructions on how to prepare for your procedure.

what to expect

During your surgery, you'll have general anesthesia so you won’t feel any pain or remember anything. Depending on where the aneurysm is, your surgeon will make an incision either in your chest (thoracic aneurysm), or in your abdomen (abdominal aneurysm). Your surgeon will replace or reinforce the weakened section of your artery with a graft made from a synthetic material, such as Dacron®

Surgery generally takes 3 to 6 hours.

recovery

You'll be in the hospital for about a week after surgery, with the first few days in the intensive care unit. Once you're eating, walking, and your pain is under control, you'll be released to go home. Recovery time will be 4 to 6 weeks at home with support from nurses, therapists and other specialists as you recover. You'll need a postoperative check with your surgeon before you can resume driving, working, or any strenuous activities.

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