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Aortic Aneurysm Repair/Removal
Reasons for Procedure
- To prevent an aneurysm from rupturing/bursting, which causes severe, life-threatening bleeding
- To remove a ruptured aneurysm and repair the damaged aorta
- Problems from general anesthesia, such as lightheadedness, low blood pressure, and wheezing
- Blood clots
- Damage to organs or tissue
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam
- Blood tests
- Your doctor may need detailed pictures of your body. These can be made with:
- Cardiac catheterization
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners
- The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- You may be given laxatives and/or an enema to empty your intestines.
- You may be asked to shower the morning of your procedure. You may be given special antibacterial soap to use.
- Arrange for help at home after returning from the hospital.
- Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure.
Description of Procedure
|Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- You will need to stay in the intensive care unit for the first day or so after surgery. You will then be moved to a regular hospital room.
- For the first day or two, you will be hooked up to monitors to track your heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels. Your doctor may also order blood tests, chest x-rays, EKG, and an ultrasound of the repaired area of the aorta.
You may have some tubes in place, which may include the following:
- IV—delivers fluids and medication
- Urinary catheter—monitors urine output
- Arterial catheter—monitors blood pressure
- Central venous catheter—monitors pressure in the heart
- Epidural catheter—provides pain medicine
- Nasogastric tube—inserted through the nose and into the stomach to remove secretions and provide nutrition until your intestines regain normal function
- You may be asked to use an incentive spirometer, to breathe deeply, and to cough frequently. This will help improve lung function after general anesthesia.
- You may be given special compression stockings to wear after surgery. They may help decrease the possibility of blood clots forming in your legs.
- Follow any discharge instructions to care for the wound.
- Ask your doctor when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Gradually return to your normal activities.
- To help prevent further problems, you and your doctor will need to work to increase your overall health. Atherosclerosis and high blood pressure should be managed carefully. This can be done with medicines and a healthy lifestyle. If you are a smoker, you should talk to your doctor about quitting.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
- Pain or swelling in your abdomen
- Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medications you were given after surgery, or which persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospital
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
- Pain, burning, urgency or frequency of urination, or persistent bleeding in the urine
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Pain or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons http://www.sts.org
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://www.heartandstroke.ca
University of Ottawa Heart Institute http://www.ottawaheart.ca
Aneurysm repair. The Texas Heart Institute website. Available at: http://www.texasheartinstitute.org/HIC/Topics/Proced/asurg.cfm. Updated August 2012. Accessed May 6, 2013.
Aortic aneurysms. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.sts.org/sections/patientinformation/aneurysmsurgery/aorticaneurysms/index.html. Accessed May 6, 2013.
Sidebotham D, McKee A, et al. Cardiothoracic Critical Care. 2007.
6/2/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Mills E, Eyawo O, et al. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.