An aneurysm of the artery is an enlarging of the artery walls and a weakening in those artery walls. Using endovascular techniques or open surgery, the artery is repaired or the aneurysm is removed. If the aneurysm ruptures, this can be fatal. Also, the risk factors is the development of blood clots, causing the disruption in the flow of blood to parts of the body.
An exam by your vascular surgeon or physician is a good start in determining the location and size of an aneurysm. The doctor will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will also be done by your physician. A CT Scan, duplex ultrasound, MRA, or Angiography may be ordered to determine size and location as well. Your surgeon will recommend the type of procedure that will be necessary. Depending on the location of the aneurysm, either open surgical repair, or endovascular repair will be recommended.
- Open surgical repair will require making an incision and repairing the artery with grafts that can be made from fabric, or even your own body tissue.
- Endovascular repair is done by making small incisions and then a stent (wired mesh tubing with a fabric around it) is placed in the artery and aneurysm to avert the blood flow within.
This is a major procedure and requires a hospital stay up to 7-10 days of recovery. Depending on which repair is performed (open or endovascular), it can be 6 weeks and up to 4 months for recovery.