Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Surgery

Surgical Assocaites of Marshall County offers minimally invasive surgical treatment for abdominal aortic aneurysm in Albertville and Guntersville.

A large blood vessel known as the aorta provides blood to the abdomen, pelvis and legs. When this blood vessel enlarges or balloons out abnormally, it is known as an aneurysm. When an aneurysm occurs in the part of the aorta that passes through the chest it is called a thoracic aortic aneurysm; elsewhere, it is known as an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms are most common in men over 60, but can occur in anyone. Risk factors for aortic aneurysm include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Emphysema
  • Injury
  • Syphilis
  • Genetic problems like Marfan’s syndrome

An aortic aneurysm will typically worsen slowly over time and may exist for years without causing symptoms. However, symptoms can come on suddenly when an aortic aneurysm ruptures, expands rapidly or leaks blood. Symptoms of aneurysm rupture may include:

  • Shock
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid pulse
  • Clammy skin
  • Abdominal or back pain (may spread to legs, groin or buttocks)

If you believe you are suffering from the symptoms of aneurysm rupture, seek care immediately. Aortic aneurysm rupture can cause life-threatening internal bleeding.

Diagnosis of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

To confirm an aortic aneurysm and determine size and scope of the issue, diagnostic tests may be performed like:

  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Abdominal CT scan
  • Angiogram

Surgical Treatment for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

Aortic aneurysm surgery is usually recommended when an aneurysm reaches a dangerous size or continues to grow quickly.

  • Traditional open repair is typically performed when an aortic aneurysm ruptures or bleeds, or may be advised if you are not a candidate for minimally invasive surgeries. A large cut will be made in your abdomen and the diseased portion of the aorta will be removed and replaced with a synthetic graft.
  • Endovascular stent grafting can be completed through the arteries without major abdominal incisions. A synthetic graft and a piece of metal or plastic called a stent will be placed and the aneurysm will contract around it. This reduces downtime while improving safety, especially in those who suffer from other conditions, but is usually ineffective for bleeding aneurysms.

Your surgeon will provide instructions for pre and post-operative care. Lifestyle modifications may also be recommended to reduce the risk of recurrence.

When an aortic aneurysm grows large, expands or ruptures, surgery is often needed to repair it. At Surgical Associates of Marshall County, you can find the expert care you need to surgically correct an aortic aneurysm.