Overview of Aortic Aneurysm Repair
Intermountain Heart Institute offers surgical repair of aortic aneurysm.
Surgery is recommended for aortic aneurysm when the diameter of the aorta exceeds 5 centimeters. The aneurysmal, or dilated, portion of the aorta is removed and replaced with a synthetic graft made from Dacron cloth.
Certain aneurysms are associated with aortic valve disease or coronary artery disease. Occasionally, therefore, repair of the aneurysm is combined with valve or coronary artery surgery. Surgery for these aneurysms is performed through the breastbone. When the aneurysm is located in the lower part of the chest or extends into the abdomen, the operation is performed through the left side of the chest.
Recovery after aneurysm surgery depends on whether the operation is performed as an emergency and how much of the aorta must be replaced. In general, patients that undergo elective aneurysm surgery for an isolated, focal aneurysm recover smoothly. The synthetic graft is highly durable and does not require any additional medications.
Endovascular Aortic Surgery
Some patients will be eligible for treatment using a less invasive approach known as endovascular stent-grafting, also known as endovascular aortic surgery.
In this operation, small incisions are made in the groin, and catheters are inserted in the leg arteries. Using live x-rays, a synthetic graft is placed inside the aneurysm or dissection. This graft is composed of thin material covering a flexible frame, or stent, and seals off the portion of the aorta.
After stent grafting, blood travels within the stent graft, essentially forming a "tube within a tube." The diseased part of the aorta is protected from further enlargement.
Aortic stent-grafting is currently used for treatment of aneurysms in the descending thoracic aorta and abdominal aorta. This approach can also be employed for "hybrid" operations, where standard surgical replacement is performed for part of the aorta, and then a stent-graft is used for the remainder.
Where is Aortic Aneurysm Repair Performed?
Aortic aneurysm surgeries are performed in the cardiovascular operating room (also called the CV OR) by a cardiothoracic surgeon and the cardiovascular OR team.
If you have questions please call us: 801-507-4701.
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